May 6, 2011
Shluchim Going Into Foreclosure

Downtown Chicago's Shluchim Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun and his wife Rivka have 30 days to come up with enough money before their Chabad House goes into foreclosure.

Downtown Chicago's Chabad House located in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago is in danger of going under foreclosure.

Combating this, various friends and community members of the beloved Chabad House started a campaign on Facebook, Twitter and other social-media outlets to reach out to its many friends and supporters for their help in time of great need.

In 30 days Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun, a Yom Kippur war veteran and Chabad Shliach of 25 years, must raise enough money to save the House on Dearborn Pkwy, a picturesque and quiet street amid the hustle and bustle of America's "second city."

Rabbi Benhiyoun, or just Meir Chai as his close-knit community knows him, kicked off Jewish life in Downtown Chicago almost from scratch and is now leading a flourishing community and preschool in the Loop, Lincoln Park and Gold Coast sections of Downtown Chicago.

Watching a small but vibrant community fighting for its survival is heart-rending but many say that this might just be one of the many times that Meir Chai and his dedicated wife Rivka pull off what seems to be the impossible.


Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
why is this happening?
(5/6/2011 1:47:15 PM)
Not so unique
With so many shluchim facing foreclosure I'm not sure why what's so unique about these.
(5/6/2011 1:48:21 PM)
Easy to help!
The Chabad House has a good chance b'ezras Hashem, of making this happen.

Please search for "Chabad Share and Give" on Facebook and help get the word out!

Moshiach NOW!
(5/6/2011 1:49:03 PM)
Share and Give
This Chabad House is near and dear to me. Rabbi Meir Chai, Rivka and their entire family have not just inspired me but thousands of people around the world and in Chicago. They open their house up every Shabbos to guests and travelers; teach classes for all levels; host amazing parties; and really serve the Jewish community of Chicago in every way possible.

Please help the Benhiyoun's to save their Chabad House.

(5/6/2011 1:49:43 PM)
small community?
there are thousands upon thousands of jews in downtown chicago! please do not abuse the term "small community."
(5/6/2011 1:57:04 PM)
Amazing Rabbi
every1 should know that this rabbi and rebetzin are doing great work in chicago so please do your best and help him out!!!! he deserves it!!!!
(5/6/2011 2:05:48 PM)
please help them!
(5/6/2011 3:03:46 PM)
small community indeed
the city of Chicago and the greater Chicago area does indeed have thousands of Jewish residents, but the neighborhod/community that this Chabad house services is indeed quite small- no thousands to speak of there.
(5/6/2011 3:07:27 PM)
to # 7
what are you saying! have you ever been to chicago? chicago has thousands of jewish people who need every shliach that is here! we need to help!
(5/6/2011 3:29:31 PM)
att 1 and 8
stop being so know-it-all and just close your mouths if you have nothing helpful to say
these shluchim are doing all they can and they are doing the best possible work and just because you probably feel jealous or what not, it doesnt mean they arent needed or deserve all the help they can get
JUST HELP THEM! dont make as if you know everything and deserve to know everything.
(5/6/2011 3:34:52 PM)
about the comment addressing 1 and 8
i meant 2 and 8
(5/6/2011 3:35:43 PM)
how much
how much do they need
(5/6/2011 3:48:39 PM)
Please help!!
I would donate thousands of Dollars if I was more financially blessed, but as a struglling person myself, please accept my $36 donation. Everybody who is capable of donating please do! And generously if at all possible.

formerly from Chicago
(5/6/2011 3:49:45 PM)
very sad
if u had any idea how many chabad houses are going into "forclosure" ...
(5/6/2011 4:01:38 PM)
I'm a Shliach who lost a house
to foreclosure and i can tell you first hand that its a horrific thing to have happen.

in these days there's very little "sympathy" for people loding their home because its so common. and at the same time, people are giving a lot less then normal because of the economic downturn.

the real problem is that the average very well-meaning jew says, well if you can't make it then go do something else! and they don't mean it in a bad way. they just don't see the indispensability of shlichus!! they see it as a great project that should happen as long as its viable "B'daas Tachton".

bottom line, in this particular matzav, YOU need to step up and help this shliach (and others in the same predicament) because YOU are committed to the Rebbe's vission.

Umesayemim b'tov.
(5/6/2011 4:12:21 PM)
Agree with number 2
I know several schluchim (i.e. Florida and California) in the same situation as the Benhiyouns, and while I wish ALL of them success, I also wish the other schluchim facing financial issues received the same level of exposure.
(5/6/2011 4:24:40 PM)
To 10
if u have nothing nice to say u can close your mouth
(5/6/2011 4:56:39 PM)
I wish I could help!!
(5/6/2011 5:06:20 PM)
Unique Indeed
I am the CEO of a major international company and travel the world on a daily basis. I have the opportunity and privilege of meeting Shluchim all around the world. I have been to this Chabad House a number of times on my visits to Chicago, and without question, this is a truly unique Chabad House, family and Shlichus. The amount of people deeply connected and lives changed from them- reach the span of the golbe- not just Chicago.
I can go on and on about how marked I am from my short visits.
The main thing I would say is that the only reason I can fathom this happening is because this Chabad House is so powerful and necessary.

I wish you all the luck, and hope that many will indeed see the special qualities this Chabad posses.
(5/6/2011 5:13:17 PM)
This brought me to tears. I learned in Chicago for a few years and had the PRIVILEGE of spending a few Shabbosim there. I am now a Shlucha myself, and I am always using what I learned there. I always felt that the Benchiyuns were the most amazing succesful and dedicated shluchim. I always dreamed of having the same Chabad house.
I am positive that Hashem will turn this into a real miracle story.
(5/6/2011 5:19:01 PM)
to # 12
1.5 mil
(5/6/2011 5:59:21 PM)
To Reb Meit Chai: Clarification Please
I think that it would encourage to know how much is needed, how much has been raised so far, and how much more do they need as of today.
(5/6/2011 6:32:12 PM)
extra splurge
maybe instead of that extra splurge we should use send parts of our tax returns to the benhiyouns!!!
(5/6/2011 6:44:32 PM)
to no. 13
I second that
(5/6/2011 7:14:16 PM)
Well now that the Benhiyouns got the exposure, we must help them!
(5/6/2011 7:23:31 PM)
Help NOW
I've worked for Rabbi Meir Chai and Rivka and have been part of the community for years. They are the utmost amazing people. Let me tell you, the work harder than any I know. Meir Chai and Rivka are both driven, smart and dependable. They are in need right NOW...please give anything you can to help them out.

(5/6/2011 7:24:08 PM)
Im a shliach and i know of the benhiyouns throgh their balei tshuvah s=who live now all over the world.
I hear the most amazing things about them and I have always been awed by their work and the love people have for them.
I wish them all the best and Im sure it will work out from all the zechuyos you gathered!
(5/6/2011 7:26:01 PM)
BAl Tshuvah
Im proud to say that i am a bal tshuvah of the benhiyouns.
I love them dearly and owe my life today to them.
I cant imagine that they would need to go through such a test.
Though I have seen them in tough times, and trust you to pul through.
WE love and admire you
(5/6/2011 7:27:10 PM)
Some angel(s) please step up...
Why? If you do an accounting of the "congregation" at this Chabad House once a month or so, you inevitably will see three new faces every time you enter, and they are all on track and moving forward, not just enjoying the parties. In the middle of crushing financial challenges or not, the Benhiyoun's Shlichus burns forth like a ruchnius rocket at cruising speed. The only silver lining in this whole picture is that if he has to set up a picnic table on the sidewalk to continue, he and the Rebbetzin won't miss a beat because their Shlichus is their teachings, without fail the most penetrating and enlivening around. Please though, let's not see that happen. Please help.
(5/6/2011 7:43:09 PM)
to comment 19
Dear Mr CEO

please write a check not a comment !

thank u
(5/7/2011 9:57:18 PM)
such amazing people
IY"h we will see the Rebbes Brachos bigiluy!
YOU have the chanve to be a part of the Benhiyouns work as shluchim of the Rebbe!
(5/7/2011 10:15:34 PM)
to # 30
how do u know Mr.CEO did not write a check for this important cause? please be careful with what u post!!
(5/7/2011 10:19:02 PM)
This is Shichus- challenges always coming up and how we deal with it.
I know the benchiyons, they are real chassidim of the rebbe and true shluchim.
Hashem wil send his brochos, Im sure!
(5/7/2011 10:30:49 PM)
I love the benchiyons!

I cnt believe it!
(5/7/2011 10:31:29 PM)
to 30
I was thinking similar but thinking more like, 'please write a check IN ADDITION to your comment'.,

Also, not every CEO is a multimillionaire, but I hope this one is and will give generously. Please do. I'm sure Hashem will pay you back for rescuing this dear Rabbi, Rebbetzin and community in Chicago.
(5/7/2011 10:35:11 PM)
Hamaaser hu haikar
I'm a shlucha myself and cannot imagine what a horrific experience this must be!! Let's all give what we can....big or small it all adds up and every dollar makes a difference! I made a donation, will you please too? Hatzloch Raba!!
(5/8/2011 12:03:48 AM)
crown heights resident
i wish them all the luck and help in the world. however, i also know people in ch whose house is up for foreclosure. Hardworking people who can not make ends meet and are trying their best. Trying to pay tuition, food guests etc. working 2 jobs, large families. This is the economy today
(5/8/2011 12:31:35 AM)
The best thing you can do, is by making a commitment on your credit card even just 18$ a month. If the bank see's that theres a guaranteed mortgage payments they wont foreclose. Why not? the bank doesnt want the building,
(5/8/2011 1:16:23 AM)
Hasheem said being intrusted to help others is your task if you can help. you personally dont own the money but hasheem does.What was so hard to figure this out?

Jeffrey Tobias,I left a Will to Chabad.,as it belongs to hasheem
(5/8/2011 10:47:50 AM)
We can help!
I've been following this story for few years and know its background. We are wealthy family from near north. What if we take over the properties, finance construction of new "Center of Jewish Life", name the places after us, and give to the rabbi free rent? Would you be interested? We own the place and you run it.
(5/12/2011 1:15:48 PM)
:) :) TAKE ACTION :) :)
stop crying
stop fighting
do something
rather than reading 41 comments
and then going back to work
read the article
and do what u know is right
and once we do our part
hashem will help us with the rest.
i hope you use this advice for the future.
tracht gut vet zein gut vet gibben a donayshun, if yuhr finanshal situashun allowves it,
:) meaning only good :)
(5/12/2011 9:29:50 PM)
To # 40
Wonderful! You may be the angel we all have been waiting for. Please contact them ASAP , deadline is approaching very quickly. Thank you.
(5/12/2011 9:34:12 PM)
The Benhiyouns Are Shluchim That Fulfill The Rebbe's Vision -- We Must Help!
The Benhiyouns have changed more lives in Chicagoland than anyone. They have given freely of themselves, of their time, their torah knowledge and their very genuine concern, to every Jew (and many non-Jews) that has come within their purview. They never 'water down' yiddishkeit. They teach deep Chassidic concepts in clear and understandable terms, and perhaps most importantly, they hold their Ba'aal Teshuvahs --and all those involved with their Chabad House-- in as high regard as they hold their own families. Such qualities are rare. They make the Benhiyouns treasures to their community and, I believe, to the Rebbe's vision for his Chassidim. Undoubtedly, many other shluchim regularly make invaluable contributions, too, but that doesn't make this Chabad House less deserving . Please, stop the sniping and let's do all we can to help. The world will be a darker place if, G-d forbid, this Chabad House goes under.
(5/17/2011 6:04:26 PM)
they need to raise $10,000
(5/22/2011 10:19:17 PM)
The Chabad House led by the Benhiyouns are a real aset to Chicago's GoldCoast
I believe what has happened here is very sad. I have been involved with this particular Chabad House for over 13 years. The Benhiyouns are a very warm loving family and reach out to all Jews regardless of their level of observance or social economic status. This family welcomes educates and feeds many people eat week. The Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun has married a number friends of mine. I have a the pleasure of watching some of these families grow and its a beautiful a community embrace their shared Jewish history and tradition. One of the family most powerful tools in the Rabbis wife Rivka. This modest mother of 8 beautiful Children warmly welcomes educates and feeds dozens of guests each week and the fact that she's an superb cook I think helps keep people coming back! G-d willing this Chabad House will survive and will be able too continue its valuable outreach on the GoldCoast.

I would encouraged all who are able to assist this family/institution with donation.
(5/23/2011 4:26:15 PM)
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