Peter L. Dwares
President, Dwares Group Inc.

I’ve been in business for over 50 years, first as a practicing lawyer, and later I branched into real estate. Along the way I’ve founded and chaired two nonprofits to benefit children in need as well. I’ve had — and I have — a good life, and I believe in giving back.

I’ve known the Langers for 30 years. I’ve watched Rabbi Moshe grow as a human being and a rabbi, and am proud to consider him a dear friend. What I find to be unique about Chabad of San Francisco is the way they’re empathetic; they do a lot of good for people. They help out poorer members of the community — non-Jewish as well as Jewish people. They’re worth supporting.

They’re the real McCoy.


Rhonda Bennon
Vice-President at The Empire Group

I’ve lived in S. Francisco for over 35 years. When I grew up here, the mindset I often saw was, “Assimilate, assimilate, assimilate.” My family, however, imparted to me a strong sense of Jewish identity. I’ve lived a secular life, but one with a deep belief in G‑d — non-observant as opposed to non-believing. What I appreciate about Chabad is their absolute sincerity and willingness to meet people where they’re at.

A while ago, while I was taking a Hebrew course with Rabbi Moshe Langer, a friend of mine, who is not Jewish, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I reached out to Rabbi Langer, and he went to a great deal of effort to obtain names of physicians who could help my friend. I’m nobody special, and this wasn’t for someone Jewish, but none of that mattered to Rabbi Langer. He was willing to do whatever he could to help, and I can’t think of anyone else who would have done that.

Chabad brings Judaism into everything in a really thoughtful and natural way. Take their cooking show, for example. I don’t cook at all; I’m a terrible cook. So when I told my husband and sister I was watching Chabad’s cooking show, they nearly fainted. I enjoyed it because woven into the show was so much information and knowledge about the holiday people were cooking for. I didn’t just understand a recipe. I understood its relationship to the holiday.

In my opinion, there is no other organization in SF like Chabad that just seeks out to be Jewish; that revels in Judaism — an organization that reaches out to people, but doesn’t grab them — they simply welcome them.


Jonathan Hirshon
CEO, Horizon Public Relations

Everybody has something to contribute. Some can give time. Some can give talent. Some can help financially. I feel privileged to be able to do all three.

When I give to my community; I want the impact to be felt locally. That’s why Rabbi Langer knows that if he needs an extra pair of hands, some PR tips or anything else, he can let me know. While in many global organizations, large percentages of charity go to the organization’s own cost, I know that when I give to Chabad, I’m giving at the street level, and I know my contribution will be funneled into the right channels.

In a time when secularism is on the rise, Chabad’s welcoming, non-judgemental attitude is refreshing. They enable Jews to be active in Jewish life in whatever capacity makes sense for each individual. They lead by example; they embark on a life mission. And that’s something you don’t see very often these days.

They have inspired me to become a better person.


Eugene Feldman
Product Marketer at Salesforce

I grew up in the former Soviet Union and was completely removed from Judaism throughout my youth - I wasn’t even aware of most Jewish holidays until my teens. In the late 1990s I moved to San Francisco at the age of 16. I discovered Chabad when I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley, and it's been a slow journey to reconnect with my Jewish inner essence ever since. From my first Shabbat dinners and Yom Kippur services to Tefillin in my early twenties, to Brit Milah at 26, and finally to becoming Baal Teshuva now in my late 30s, Chabad has been an amazing champion of my spiritual growth.

I think that how connected we want to be to our Jewishness is one of the most important choices we make in life, and Chabad is there for all of us all around the world to help us connect to the degree that we are ready for. To me, supporting Chabad means contributing to the spiritual growth and well-being of the entire San Francisco Jewish community as well as of the Jewish people as a whole.


Nedah Farah

Coming from New York and Los Angeles, I was used to being surrounded by large Jewish communities. However, when I moved to San Francisco, I felt a part of me was missing. For the first time, I had to seek out friends, a shul, and a community in a city in which Jews were not prevalent. It was then that I realized how important my Jewish identity was to me.

The first time I walked into Chabad, I found exactly what I was looking for- a home. Rabbi Langer works hard to ensure that San Francisco Jews have a strong sense of pride and don’t feel lost in a city with few other Jews. Chabad provides a loving community and family to those that are otherwise alone in this city.

Besides services and Kiddush, Chabad provides classes on Talmud study and a wide range of community events such as a weekly Shabbat dinner, a soup kitchen for the homeless, and happy hour for young professionals. Chabad does everything in its power to make sure that every Jew has somewhere to be every day of each holiday.

San Francisco is unique in that the corporations here recruit people from all over the globe and with that comes Jews from all different backgrounds. Chabad brings together an international mix of Jews, making sure everyone is celebrated for their unique Jewish identity. All Jews are part of an extended family regardless of our ethnic and cultural differences and Chabad of San Francisco embraces that.

Chabad does so much that it’s natural to want to be a part of it. I want to give back to them in any way that I can, and I want to be a part of them giving to others.


Irene Felberman*
Holucust Survivor

*Name changed to protect identity

I will be 90 in a few months. I was born in Germany and survived the Holocaust. I came to America via Shanghai, China, where I settled in Seattle at first, and then moved to San Francisco later on.

It’s not so easy for me to get out of the house these days, and it’s not so safe either. After the pandemic began, someone gave me the phone number of Chabad SF here — “They can help you out,” she told me.

I had heard of Chabad, but I wouldn’t have called myself a community member. But I called them up, and they’ve been bringing me Shabbat meals ever since. The rabbi is a very nice person, he and his son call me to  make sure I have what I need. The service they provide is excellent, and the food is delicious!


Malcom Joshua Weitz
CEO & Co-founder, Mirage Medicinal

I had a culturally Jewish upbringing — I loved Jewish history and heritage, but was totally unfamiliar with the Torah. That changed when my underground cannabis store landed me in Rikers Island back in 2015.

Losing my freedom was very difficult. I asked myself where I went wrong. It was really a time of spiritual reflection for me. As it’s located in the heavily-Jewish city of New York, Rikers Island has a significant and diverse Jewish population, and regardless of denomination, Chabad —  by way of the Alef Institute —  was there to make sure every Jewish prisoner was taken care of Jewishly.

I had never before experienced this driving idea that a Jew is a Jew, regardless of their situation and regardless of their denomination. It really opened my eyes. As hard as being in prison was, Chabad helped me find my dignity again in being proud of my Jewishness.

After I served my sentence, I relocated to SF, where I set up a (now-legal) cannabis dispensary. Divine Providence led me to Chabad on 6th Street, and I said, “Wow, this is a sign.” My office was one block away —  what are the chances of that!

I met Rabbi Shmulik Friedman and Rabbi Moshe Langer and I began joining community events and being more active in the community. I was able to lend my warehouse space for use as a temporary synagogue location. I feel that donating time and resources is a chance to repay and give back to the Jewish community in general, and to Chabad in specific.