Lost and Found in Crown Heights: The Soul House

My name is Tzofia Rivka Frieden, I am 22 years old and grew up in a reform family in Massachusetts. My grandfather’s family had been religious (my great-uncle was Rebbe photographer Levi Frieden), but my family dwindled over time. I started becoming more religious when I was 18 and became frum through the amazing Mendy and Brocha Benhiyoun in Chicago. I moved to Crown Heights a year and a half ago to have better access to a young and vibrant religious community, but when I arrived here I felt alienated by the blacked-out windows of the women’s section at 770 and wanted my warmth back in the Chabad house Chicago. Then I was taken to the soul house.

I cannot express how grateful I am to have the Engleson in my life. Miriam and Eli have built a Torah home that allows everyone to nurture and explore their authentic selves through the lens of Hasidus. I have never found a school where I can be my most authentic self and not feel like I’m doing a performance for others. The Soul House is a home that I believe (truly in keeping with the times of the Mashiach) values ​​and respects Jewish femininity in a truly incredible way. From a women’s college and creating a place for women to engage with texts in meaningful ways, to a crowded women’s section every Shabbat morning, I’ve never been in an environment where I’ve felt more respected and welcomed. I can never in a million years put into words what Miriam and Eli did for the Crown Heights community or for the Jewish world at large.

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If ever there was a good cause to donate to, this is it.



A note from the founders,

Today at 12pm we go LIVE with the goal of raising $770,000 in 36 hours for The Soul House and Shua’s Kollel.

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Last year you helped us build a home. We were able to use every single dollar from our campaign to pay our building down.

Your support has made this possible and we are eternally grateful.

Since last year’s campaign, The Soul House and Shua’s Kollel have grown beyond our wildest expectations.

Since last year we have been operating from zero resources and have quadrupled our size and Soul House ministry staff. Miracles made this possible.

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From Shabbat meals, spirited Davening, Shiurim open to all, Shua’s Kollel, to mental health awareness lectures, relationship classes, a vibrant women’s program, a counseling fund, music events, Fabrengans and all yom Tovim.

Chabad houses thankfully exist all over the world, but where do the youth living in the Shunah have a place of their own? Where can they ask their questions and learn Hasidus in a way that is personal to their lives? Many have said Crown Heights needs its own Chabad home. The soul house is here, will you help us thrive?

Every donation you make today will be DOUBLE so we can keep up the good work and hard work.

Rabbi Eli and Myriam Engelson

Directors of Soul House & Shua’s Kollel

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