Chabad dedicates new facility

March 27 event will honor benefactor Barry H. Levites

The Chabad on Campus-Rohr Center for Jewish Life at Washington University in St. Louis will dedicate its new facility at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, March 27, in memory of benefactor Barry H. Levites.

Chabad will celebrate the nearly $1 million purchase and renovation of a former apartment building at 7018 Forsyth Blvd. The Barry H. Levites Chabad House is a milestone in the development of the nearly 10-year-old organization that supports the cultural and educational development of Jewish students and faculty.

“This building will help us grow and nurture Jewish life at Washington University,” says Rabbi Hershey Novack, director of Chabad on Campus.

The new building, more than triple Chabad’s previous space, will enable the organization to host Shabbat services and dinners, hold classes, facilitate trips to Israel, and provide counseling and referral services to students. Chabad is founded on the 250-year old Chabad-Lubavitch movement, a branch of Hasidism.

“We are very excited that this new space will provide an excellent platform to do all these wonderful and vital services,” Novack says.

“The new facility will help us meet the students’ needs in the best possible way,” he says. “The rich heritage of the Chabad tradition provides a positive, inclusive, and nurturing environment to engage young Jews today. We are privileged that so many choose to become involved and leaders in their own right.”

The building will be dedicated to honor the memory of the late Barry H. Levites, CEO of Levites Realty Co. of New York City. Levites, who died in 2010, and business partner, close friend and Washington University alumnus Ronald Rettner have been supporters of Chabad on Campus. Levites wife, Janice, will be present for the dedication.

“Barry would be very touched, very moved by this dedication,” Rettner says. “He was committed to our country, to Chabad and was a very committed practicing Jew.”

The dedication will be bittersweet for Rettner.

“I have mixed emotions about this. He was my best friend, and he left us too soon,” he says. “But I know it would be very gratifying to him to see this.”

For more information or to RSVP for the dedication, visit