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Ft Lauderdale Kosher Restaurant & Chabad Center Closed Due to Arson

In a disturbing act of arson over last weekend, the Chabad Jewish Center in 1304 E Las Olas Blvd Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has suffered significant damage, leading to the closure of “The Friendship Grill,” housed within the center.

The incident occurred in the early hours of March 16th when a transient individual set fire to a vehicle parked behind the building, causing extensive damage to the center’s facilities, including the kitchen, each of which is integral to the center’s Friendship Circle Life Skills Program.

The targeted vehicle, identified as the minivan of the Rabbi’s wife, became the source of a fire that not only threatened the building but also spread to and severely damaged the kitchen. Smoke from the blaze permeated throughout the premises. Fort Lauderdale Police, responding to the incident, have confirmed the deliberate nature of the act, supported by video surveillance capturing the arson attempt.

The Chabad Jewish Center, under the leadership of Rabbi Chaim and Chaya Mushka Slavaticki, is more than just a place of worship. It is the home of a Holocaust Sefer Torah and the Friendship Circle, a program providing crucial social and life skills training for children, teens, and adults with special needs. The fire has halted the program’s activities, affecting 12 adults participating in the Job Training & Life Skills Program and leaving them without a venue for their growth and development.

In the wake of this tragedy, the center is reaching out to the community for support to rebuild and continue its mission. “When we began Friendship Circle 11 years ago, it was to create a safe haven, a place of inclusion where no one is left behind and everyone has a friend,” the center expressed in a statement. Despite the setback, there is a determined effort to move forward and restore the center to its role as a vital community hub.

Those wishing to contribute to the recovery and rebuilding efforts of the non-profit organization can do so through their fundraising campaign at

The loss of “The Friendship Grill” and the damage to the Chabad Jewish Center mark a challenging time for the Las Olas community, calling for collective support to overcome the devastation caused by this senseless act of arson.