A vast building project undertaken by the Jewish community in Buenos Aires, Argentina will see the construction of a $25 million 247,570 square foot Jewish education center serving 2,000 students.
The center will include a full-sized gymnasium, several sports fields and playgrounds serving thousands of Jewish children from the city’s urban areas who otherwise would not have access to such amenities.
The first section of the building is set to open in March 2023 and will contain a boys’ elementary school, including a cafeteria, playground, gym, and eight classrooms on each floor. Also set for completion will be a library and a sports field built on the roof.
The girls’ school will be housed in the second building, which will be 170,000 square feet, and will likely open in 2025. It will also have a kindergarten and a girls’ high school.
The land was purchased by businessmen Eduardo Elsztain and Javier Stolovitzky in 2005 after the Jewish school formerly on the property shut down when its student body shrank. They donated the land to Chabad so that it could continue to be used by the Jewish community.
The major donations from Jewish supporters have been essential to see the project to completion.
“It’s not like in America where you have many different educational institutions producing rabbis. If we don’t produce rabbis and teachers here, we won’t have leaders,” Rabbi Tzvi Grunblatt, director of Chabad of Argentina, told the Lubavitch.com site.
He also said that the campus will provide much needed recreational space for the children.
“There are very few parks here. It’s dense urban apartment buildings in every direction. The children growing up here hardly have space to breathe,” he explained.
He added that the school will be full when it opens. Their current school is already overflowing and in need of new space.
“Our current facilities are already operating at maximum capacity, so we desperately need this new space,” he said.