In September 1992 when Rabbi Yossi and Dina Levertov founded Chabad of Scottsdale in a storefront at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard, it was considered the north part of town. "A real desert," Levertov says.

Today, the Levertovs have created a thriving Jewish community with a synagogue, Hebrew school, Jewish Learning Center, gift shop, kosher market, kosher restaurant and a mikvah for dishes.

What started out as a 700-square-foot space has now expanded to 10,000 square feet and the synagogue has grown from 10 families in 1992 to close to 800 people today.

Levertov says of his arrival in Scottsdale, "It was a tough beginning." He rented a 700-square-foot space sandwiched between a print shop and a lawnmower-repair shop. During the first Yom Kippur service, the next-door neighbors fired up the lawnmowers. "It was hard for our amateur cantor, but we managed," he says.

By the next Yom Kippur, Chabad of Scottsdale moved to its current location in the same center. At the end of 1993, Chabad opened Scottsdale Judaica World gift shop, now called Mazel Tov Gifts. Levertov says there was a tremendous need for anything Jewish "on this side of town."

The same year, Chabad of Scottsdale started a Hebrew school. The first class had four children and has since grown to about 75 students.

In 1999, Chabad expanded the synagogue and classroom, and added offices, a kitchen and a multi-purpose room, which is use for services, classes and events.

To better serve the needs of the growing community, in 2000, Chabad of Scottsdale opened the Scottsdale Kosher Market. "The closest kosher market was in Phoenix, about 14 miles away," Levertov says. 

Then, in 2003, Chabad opened the Scottsdale Cafe Deli & Grill. The restaurant features a variety of kosher fare, including deli sandwiches and chicken noodle soup, as well as Middle Eastern specialties, such as chicken shwarma and lamb kebabs.

The latest addition, the mikvah for dishes, was built in 2007. "Again, people on this side of town had a hard time if they wanted to grow in their observance. So we opened a mikvah where you pull up five feet away, open your trunk, take out your dishes and you can fulfill that mitzvah very easily," Levertov says.