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Rabbi Fishel's Blog

To make everyone feel welcome and at home

Dear Friend, 

We hope that you and your loved ones are well. We are presently making preparations for the upcoming High Holidays as we look forward to an invigorating and peaceful New Year. 

High Holiday services with Chabad Naples are designed to make everyone feel welcome and at home. The prayers, conducted with Hebrew/English prayer- books, are lively, engaging and inclusive - spiced with inspiring tunes and insightful explanations throughout - allowing all to absorb the experience at their own level. Sermons and announcements likewise speak to all participants and are always, relevant, stimulating and enlightening. 

High Holiday services are open to all from all walks of life. It is this spirit of unity and sense of belonging that permeates the entire atmosphere throughout all services. Our doors and our hearts are always open to you. All are welcome.
For reservations or information visit

We look forward to greeting you personally.

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

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Exciting Announcement!

Our beloved Preschool of the Arts Garden will now be known as The Newman Family Garden of the Arts, Lovingly dedicated by Bill & Mary Aronin, in honor of Dr. Steven, Sara, Rachel & Sam Newman.

GOTA1.jpgThe garden has become such a special place for the children where they spend so much enjoyable time for their botanical pursuits and even for fresh snacks! We are extremely grateful for their kindness & dedication which enables us to continue educating and caring for Naples’ children for years to come.

We are in the process of upgrading and enhancing the preschool garden which gives our children so much pleasure. We are also proud and honored to have partnered with botany experts, Chad and Bridget Washburn, the director of Naples’ very own Botanical Gardens for planning wonderful gardening, learning and hands-on botanical exploration with our children. Recently, our very own Garden of the Arts has been recognized as a Collier Greens Garden.

With a brighter future than ever, Preschool of the Arts is widely heralded as one of our community’s treasured programs. Want to help make a difference? Find out about preschool naming dedications and uses that benefit the children at our preschool. With love from all of us at Naples Preschool of the Arts. 

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Thoughts on the Olympic Games

Dear Friends,

It’s that time again, when many of us sit entranced by the talent of athletes at the Olympic Games. Remember how in 2012 we held our collective breaths along with Aly Raisman’s parents, as from the stands they tensely moved along with their ‘Star of David’? Imagine their relief when it was over! 

Not too many of us have medal-winning Olympic children, but all parents can relate to the pride in a child’s success. We feel for and with our children — we feel their pain, their losses and their wins; we share the good and the not-so good with them as we are family, we are all one.  

We may not all be gold medal gymnasts, but we certainly are chosen by Hashem to be athletes, to participate fully in the game of life and not to stand on the sidelines. 

At Chabad of Naples we easily stepped up and fit into the role of the Chabad Naples Family and it is amazing how we have melded into a strong community. We cannot thank you all enough for holding our hands and standing by us through thick and thin, joining with the Chabad Naples Family, rejoicing in our simchas and being there for us when there was a need.  

We hope and pray always to be here for you and your simchas. 

We encourage to join and hold hands and be partners together with our partner project, or consider an increase in your existing partnership. Be a player — come forward and ask how you can join and be in the Chabad Naples Olympics. 

A heartfelt thank you to all who responded so amazingly to the partner project! we welcome many new partners warmly, appreciate the many people who increased and continue continued their partnership. Just a sincere thank you to all for your ongoing commitments!

We pray that you are enjoying a pleasant summer and that you and your loved ones are well. We are presently making preparations for the upcoming High Holidays as we look forward to an invigorating and peaceful New Year. 

To a Shabbat of love and partnership, 

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie  


Home Sweet Home

 As wonderful as our trip was, it’s always good to be again surrounded by our Naples family, planning and preparing for another amazing year together. We hope you are enjoying a safe and healthy summer and hope it continues wherever you may be spending it.

During this special trip we focused on family and had valuable time with precious loved ones. From schmoozing with dear friends & cousins to late night chats with our children … you can’t put a price on it.


One of the special highlights of our trip to Israel,  was meeting our cousins from Croatia who were also there. Just imagine: two Hindas, two Mendels, and two Rabbi Fishels - each one a  Zaklos!  While one Mendel spoke English and the other Croatian, they were at least able to communicate a little in Hebrew. Another great memory of our incredible journey to Israel. Mendels.jpegIMG_5969.JPG


In addition to the refreshment one feels from vacation time away from home, there is the added bonus of being fully present with  family.  At home we may endeavor to give our children and spouse meaningful time and attention, but often 100% is just not possible with the rest of the day’s demands hovering at the edges.  Time away from our usual lives reminds us that we often need to step back from everyday concerns and look at life with clarity, investing ourselves completely in family.  From the schmoozing with friends and cousins to the late nights spent with children just chatting about life, the extra special time spent together was a gift we will continue to share as often as possible.  Once lost, these valuable moments cannot be retrieved. 

It is lovely to be back home in Naples. Looking forward to seeing you in Shul

Wishing you a beautiful family Shabbat

Jacques van Dam

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend and Chabad Naples family member, Jacques van Dam, Shimon Yaakov Ben Gershom, on Monday, July 25 after a short but intense battle with cancer.

Chabad of Naples joins the Amsterdam Jewish community and friends & family throughout the world in wishing our heartfelt condolences to the Van Dam family. May his precious Neshama be comforted.

We've Known Jacques for 12 years. When we first met Jacques we were immediately drawn to his knowledge, his kindness and his Jewish pride. When it came to his Judaism, Jacques was very proud of his heritage. It played an integral part of who he was and what he did. He was a role model for Jewish pride and honor. On a personal note, we were close friends with Shimon Yaakov & his dear wife Sabine, we enjoyed spending time with him, and hearing his powerful stories and experiences as a Holocaust Survivor. He would always have predictions about Chabad Naples and we would often talk about the bright future of Chabad in Naples. He was a thankful Jew & a real Mentsch. We will miss our dear and special friend.

"Hamokom Yenachem Eschem Besoch Shaar Avaylay Tzion VeYerushalayim". May G-d comfort Sabine & her family amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may they only know of happiness for many long and healthy years.

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos  

PS You're welcome to email your condolences to the family by Clicking here and we will forward it to them.


To learn more about mourning and hope in Jewish tradition and practice visit


Remembering Jacques van Dam

Remembering Jacques van Dam

May his precious neshama be comforted and may his family and wife Sabine have strength and love of family and friends to support her at this time.
Of all the wonderful memories we have of this exceptionalman, I recall perhaps a month after arriving in Naples.
13 years ago, knowing no one, at our Park Shore rental home where we held or programs there was a ring at the door. There stood a man with a big smile on his face and a vodka bottle in his hand and he said, "My name is Jacques and look, I have been living in La Costa CA and I was very good friends with the Rabbi there, Rabbi Eilfort. I heard you are establishing a Chabad here. I want to be one of the first to welcome you." 

As we talked and he was just so welcoming and saying here is the bottle, let's say a l'chaim together. But it wasn't about the bottle, he wanted so much for Chabad to succeed. A few months ago Ettie and I, Jacques and Sabine sat and talked about his life and also about Chabad and he was so thrilled and schepped nachas, and we even reminisced about the first visit. He always used to say, "I come to shul because I want to do everything I can to help grow Chabad and to help the Jewish nation."  

He was passionate about yiddishkeit.  In addition, he was so passionate about sharing his stories as a holocaust survivor. The most precious was when I asked him to come to my Hebrew school class and he shared his story and the kids were taking it all in and then the kids sent him thank you cards. That following Shabbat he said that was so special and that he wanted to do everything possible  to share his story so people would  know.

Jacques was very dear to us and we are making special prayers for Sabine for strength, healing and comfort.

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos  

Photo by Erik Kellar
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