To celebrate the opening of its new Jewish center and synagogue, Chabad of Queen Anne is hosting an open house for the community next week.

The open house, which will include tours and snacks, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the center, 1825 Queen Anne Ave. N. As part of the event, a mezuzah — a decorative case holding Hebrew verses from the Torah, will be placed near the door and prayers said in a small ceremony, Chabad Rabbi Shnai Levitin said.

While the facility has been open for small events, mostly taking place outside, during construction, the open house marks the end of phase 1, which entailed refurbishing the first floor of the former cafe and coffeehouse. Phase 2 will involve completing the upstairs level of the building.

“It’s going to be a celebration — a celebration of the first Jewish synagogue in the area,” Levitin said of the event.

The opening of the facility is significant to the neighborhood because before, Jewish residents had to leave the neighborhood to go to a synagogue or community center, Levitin said.

“This is the first Jewish synagogue building in Queen Anne and Magnolia in history,” Levitin said, adding it might possibly be the first on this side of Interstate 5.

He said, when the Jewish Federation did a study of Jewish life in Seattle in 2015, it found that the number of residents practicing Judaism had grown significantly. While residents were spread throughout the city, some neighborhoods had more Jewish infrastructure in them than others. While Queen Anne has not been known as a Jewish neighborhood in the past, Levitin said the number of Jewish residents living here now is between 5 and 10 percent.

“The Jewish infrastructure hasn’t caught up with the changing demographics, if you will, of the neighborhood and the city,” Levitin said.

Previously, Levitin and his wife held small events at their home or they rented an event center, until the pandemic, when large events were shuttered and meeting at the couple’s home became a safety concern. Plus, Levitin said, their programs have outgrown their house.

“And we always dreamed of and wanted to grow into having an established center for Jewish life,” he said, adding the location on Queen Anne Avenue North is ideal because it is the “beating heart of the neighborhood.”

Levitin said, while initial plans were to lease the building, the opportunity to buy it presented itself last year.

“Now we’re turning it from a cafe into a Jewish Community Center, and we’re very excited about it,” Levitin said.

He said, with phase 1 complete, plans will be to open a small preschool in January. The rest of the building will be used for adult programming and classes, Shabbat prayer services, community meals and activities. Levitin said the shell of the commercial kitchen will become a kosher kitchen, which he envisions being used to prepare meals for seniors and other events. Judaic art sculptures will be installed in front of the center, as well.