Clear As Mud

Now we know the rest of the story…

A ten-year saga lands a bright ending

Occasionally, we just get lucky and can visibly see the hand of G-d. Though I know that everything is orchestrated by the hand of Hashem, sometimes it’s just nice to see it, even if it takes 10 years to come to fruition 🙂 

Story time: about 10 years ago we bought a 5-acre property that’s about a 15 min walk from our home.  This property was to become the home for our soon-to-be-built Chabad Center. We had some really grand plans and dreams. 

We envisioned building a huge center, almost like a JCC with a pool (where we would be able to facilitate separate men and women swimming times), classrooms, a magnificent sanctuary, a social hall, I mean, you name it, it was all included in our plans. 

Fundraising was definitely harder than expected… and my husband is a fundraising pro!

A few years later we decided to downsize a bit, still planning to build and create a beautiful center just on a smaller scale. So, no pool, smaller spaces, a more of a condensed version of what we had originally planned. 

We met with our architect and we started to draw up some concrete plans. We spent a lot of time, and money, tweaking and perfecting it, till we had what we thought was the perfect balance of our needs. 

Bozeman is a beautiful place to live, yet, as more people discover its beauty, the cost of living (taxes, real estate, services, insurance) goes up. Our construction costs, I can safely say is one of the highest in the country. In turn we were not getting anywhere near our fundraising goals, as the more we raised, the less it was worth with prices skyrocketing. 

Back to the drawing board we go. Revise, condense, reevaluate, repeat. 

A little while before COVID we felt pretty stuck, construction costs were just so unfeasible, we decided to put the project on temporary hold and wait for the market to drop a bit. 

Enter COVID, not only did the market prices not drop, but it shot up even more. Bozeman (like many other small towns in the west) became a very appealing place to live during a pandemic and we could feel the effects of that in a very real way.

A few months ago, one of our building donors decided that he wanted his money back. It’s been a while, nothing doing, and he lost confidence in our project. Honestly, I didn’t blame him, I kinda did too. Nevertheless, it was very hard to lose the money and it forced us to have a reality check. 

With a lot of thought and the blessings of our donors, on the first day of Chanukah, we decided to put our property on the market. Long story short, a few days before Purim we sold our property for more the double our original investment.  And on Purim day we closed on a 4,000 square foot unit fully finished, walking distance from our home and closer to Main Street. 

We did not have a mortgage on our property, so the sale was all profit. Those funds, along with the money we had fundraised previously and a late infusion from a few gold hearted souls, allowed us to buy our current space all cash, mortgage free. 

It hit me like a ton of bricks. This piece of land we had, was never meant to be the home of our Chabad Center. Hashem knew all along that this was an investment property, this is what allowed us to now own a home for Judaism, debt free.

Of course, this was a total Dream Detour (Check out Aura Schwartz’s podcast called dream detour; it is wonderful). I always dreamed of creating a space from scratch, I have a passion for design, and I was itching to put it to use. Buying an existing space, forces me to work with what we have, give up on a lot of things (like a commercial kitchen) that I thought were essentials and will probably challenge my skills and force me to grow.

But after all is said and done, this is what was supposed happen, this is what our community needs. G-d had a plan and I’m just so grateful that after 10 years He shared it with us 🙂 



Noah has cooked in a variety of kitchens and has studied many different cuisines, but his favorite meals to prepare are the ones that make his guests smile. Be it Thai, Italian, Caribbean or Latin, there is always a fun surprise waiting for you at meal time. Noah welcomes special requests and guests in his kitchen! Just stop by and say hi.

Yocheved Sidof is a social entrepreneur, psycho-mystical depth work facilitator, writer, educator, speaker, and activist. After a decade as a filmmaker and photographer, she founded Lamplighters Yeshivah, a grassroots, internationally acclaimed, progressive Chassidic Montessori school. Yocheved builds communities with healing at the center. Most recently, she founded Ohm’ek, an intentional collective focusing on meditation, embodied mysticism, and micro-retreats.

A lifelong learner, she’s completed extensive training in adaptive leadership, therapeutic coaching, and systemic change. She is currently in a two-year intensive training with Thomas Hubl, studying psycho-somatic-mystical models of healing personal, collective, and ancestral trauma. She also writes, consults, works 1:1 with clients, facilitates group transformational work, and regularly teaches Jewish spiritual studies.

Yocheved sits on boards supporting innovations in mental health awareness and self-transformation. She has studied Jewish mysticism and meditation extensively, including with Rav Katz since 2018, completing Elevation Teacher Training and sitting on his advisory board for over a year.

Yocheved, her husband, and five children live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Come say “Hi!” if you’re in the neighborhood.