With the recent opening of Chabad of Lake Tahoe, the Jewish visitors to this idyllic resort are able to travel lighter and ski better in the knowledge that a kosher meal can be delivered to their rental home. As if the gift of fresh waters and snowy mountains were not enough, Chabad of Lake Tahoe is now running prayer services, Shabbat meals, and a homecooked delivery service called The Kosher Tahoe. More than 70% of the homes around Chabad of Lake Tahoe are available for short term rent.
The permanent population of Lake Tahoe is estimated at 67,000 but the area enjoys 3 million annual visitors and many travelers are Jewish. The new Chabad House just experienced their first Pesach and the room was packed with more than 60 families who attended the Seder. Rabbi Mordy Richler, a native Californian, explained the unique experience of a mountain Seder. “When we came to the plagues we could hear the local frogs so loudly that the drama of the plagues was alive,” he said.
Rabbi Richler’s Australian wife, Shaina sums up the Jewish lifestyle in Lake Tahoe in one easy phrase, “Healthy body, healthy soul.” The area is a showpiece of flowing streams, pristine air, varied wildlife and the clear blue waters of the Lake. It is this wilderness that helps many people find perspective. And more than that. The Richler’s were overwhelmed to have two brown bears walking down their street at Chanukah. They lit the menorah with a view of the bears outside the window. “It was a little unusual,” explained Rabbi Richler, “But our baby daughter thought it was just perfect.”
The drive to Lake Tahoe from LA is 7 hours, by air it is only an hour. Jewish families from southern California can now put Lake Tahoe on the summer vacation list. With endless original activities in the area, there is plenty of fun for all ages. With kosher food to feast on, you can try the hike to the tea house on Fannette Island, hit golf balls in the water at Edgewood and then snorkel to retrieve them, Picnic while you watch the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival productions at Sand Harbor and Jet Ski on the Lake.
Plans are in the works for Shavuot activities but with the mountains and flowers all around, there isn’t much decoration that will be needed.