I would like to share the Jewish landscape of Jewish outreach in the Capital Region which has seen significant developments, reflecting growth in our Jewish community.

Some programs have evolved over the years, 

There are things we surely missed

But this walk down memory lane of programs, activities and events, helps create a broad landscape picture of Chabad’s activities here these fifty years. 

Seeds planted years ago blossom and continue to bear fruit, with an ever-changing continuously growing landscape. 

Jewish Atmosphere and Ambiance!

Kosher Food & Food for Thought

The Mitzvah Mobile and Kosher-Kart may seem to be just a small trailer amid the downtown tall office buildings, dwarfed by the Capitol but it made its mark drawing people closer to their heritage. It’s trademark umbrella read: “For Heaven’s Sake - Do a Mitzvah!”

Chabad’s downtown Kosher-Kart grew into “Kosher Pizza” a regular eatery for more than a decade on Washington Ave with Jerusalem arched windows, including a Jewish lending library. It was a homey venue where you could get kosher food and food for thought, too. It was featured in The New York Times. 

“Noah’s Ark Coffeehouse” offered Kosher food, lively entertainment and wholesome ambiance of Saturday nights and special occasions. “Leibel’s Lighthouse” in Troy was another spot for inspiration and warmth. 

For years Chabad operated an Israeli Falafel booth at NYS’ International Festival on Empire State Plaza, with Jerusalem motifs and towering Shabbat candles seen from afar. Later Chabad produced two Jewishly-themed Plaza festivals: “Fiddler on the Mall” and the “Mazal Tov Festival”. 



Art exhibits with works by Jewish artists Hendel Liberman, Michoel Muchnik and local talent graced the halls of the Leo O’Brien Lobby across the Capitol, and at Chabad’s then-office at One Commerce Plaza. Saratoga Chabad had many artists on display over the years, including at popular Saratoga summer festivals. 


Chabad brought the “Megama Duo” to a concert at the Albany JCC, the legendary Theodore Bikel to the Madison Theater, presented “Small Wonder Puppet Theater” at Ohav Shalom, Montreal Choir with Mirele Rosenberger to Albany Girls Academy, and “Uncle Moshe and the Mitzvah Men” to Empire State Plaza. The “Shabbatones” were a musical group formed at Shabbos House. Jewish comedians Marc Weiner and Reuven Russell came to perform. And there were often local musical acts playing at Kosher Pizza & Falafel especially on winter Saturday nights. Saratoga Chabad 

Bikur Cholim - Visiting the Sick

For many years the Yetta Leifer Hospital Flower Fund provided weekly personal visitations with a card and a flower to Jewish patients. In the 1980’s a L’Chaim Club was formed at the Albany Medical College. Today, University Heights Chabad, adjacent to Albany Med, provides resources, support and comfort to patients and their families in their difficult time of need.