Being involved in Jewish life has always been a part of Leah Levin’s life. Growing up in Charlotte, her parents have been respected members of the Jewish community, who created the Charlotte Jewish Day School.
That is why, after returning to her hometown of Charlotte after living up north for a few years, Leah, 27, and her husband, Rabbi Yisroel Levin, 29, decided to start the Ballantyne Jewish Center. The Levin’s recognized a need to serve Jewish residents of the Ballantyne area and were eager to meet that need. The center is run under the auspices of the Chabad organization.
Chabad is the world’s leading Jewish organization, with more than 200,000 members. Levin’s father is the founder of the Charlotte Chabad House, so she is familiar with the positive impact Chabad can bring to a community.
Starting in 2008, they first ran the center out of their home, welcoming anyone who wanted to join. As attendance increased, so did the need for a larger space, which led them to the current location at 8632 Bryant Farms Road. The place needed a lot of work, but had potential. The Levins and many volunteers worked on the renovations for months, finally opening it in April.
In a few years, the Ballantyne Jewish Center has been able to bring a variety of services and activities to the community they serve. They are also focused on developing more programs to address the cultural, educational and religious needs of the community.
Although Chabad is an orthodox organization, they welcome everyone, regardless of their degree of religious observance. In fact, the only orthodox members are the Levins. continue...