Jamaica is one of the most popular and beautiful islands in the Caribbean with hundreds of thousands of Jewish visitors coming each year and a few hundred Jews living on the Island.
We established the first Chabad House in Jamaica with a Jewish Welcome Center to service the spiritual and physical needs of the Jewish visitors to the Island as well as the local Jewish population.
Our goal is to strengthen Jewish awareness and pride for the Jewish residence, and the thousands of visitors to Jamaica, regardless of background or affiliation.
Rabbi Yaakov Raskin was born and raised in Montreal, Canada as one of seven siblings. He is a grandchild of the Chabad emissaries to Casablanca, Morocco and a child to Chabad emissaries of Cote Saint Luc in Montreal. As a teenager and later as an adult, he found his calling as a Rabbinical student traveling across the United States, France, Canada, England, and the Caribbean Islands, spreading the wellsprings of Judaism near and far. Now, together with his wife Mushkee, they seek to permanently answer their true calling: To celebrate Judaism and the warmth of our great heritage together with the Jamaica community and the many tourists, no matter ones previous background or affiliation.
Yaakov was educated in Montreal, and then moved to Brunoy, France to attend an exclusive high school specializing in the comprehensive study of the Talmud and Hassidism. While studying in Brooklyn, New York, Rabbi Yaakov received Rabbinical ordination from the dean of central Lubavitch Yeshivah in Crown Heights, Rabbi Shneur Zalman Labkowski. as well we received ordination from the chief rabbis in Israel Rabbi David Lau & Rabbi Yitzchock Yoseph.
As a young rabbinical student, Yaakov combined his leadership capabilities, friendly personality, and strong Jewish beliefs, to dedicate his life towards the dissemination of Judaism. He began to travel around the world visiting different Jewish communities and organizing Jewish outreach missions in France, Monaco, Germany, England, Caribbean Islands, Central Africa, Luxemburg, Spain, and Morocco. He initiated and directed holiday services, kosher meals, home visits, and taught intellectual and stimulating adult and children classes. Yaakov strived to create warm and everlasting experiences to instill sparks of Jewish life within the locales. His summers were spent directing day camps for children of various religious backgrounds. He spent his free time, always helping others and guiding them on the right path. Yaakov acquired a reputation among his peers and friends as a warm, caring individual with a clear directed mission in life.
Mushkee Raskin grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised together with 7 siblings to love and cherish Judaism, to live and teach its principles throughout. She attended Beth Rivkah elementary school and high school in Brooklyn and upon graduation she pursued further studies at a Teacher's Seminary in Safed, Israel. She then later furthered her degree in the health and nutrition field. After earning her diploma in Israel and then in Brooklyn, Mushkee assumed position as a teacher. Mushkee was able to utilize her education, Torah values, and talents to mentor young students and foster their Jewish awareness and pride. Mushkee's love and zeal for teaching Torah continued on as she taught in different schools in Crown Heights, Brighten Beach, and Long Island. Besides being a well liked teacher, Mushkee organized a professional high school production, teaching the students lessons and values learnt out of the classroom setting. In addition to her passion for education, she directed day camps in Maryland, Alabama, Upstate New York, and Florida. She organized and directed Jewish themed activities and taught Torah classes.
Mushkee's warm, friendly, positive personality is felt by all who come in contact with her. She enjoys the outdoors and healthy living, according to her mantra 'healthy body, health soul'. Mushkee's dining room table is laden with homemade delicious food, and happy guests. She goes out of her way to lend a helpful hand to a needy, friend, or stranger. Yaakov and Mushkee maintain this aspect of a Jewish Home with joy, and accommodate all who seek a meal, some words of wisdom, or even just a chat.
Yaakov and Mushkee seek to create and everlasting impact, and bring Joyous Judaism, to everyone, with all their heart.