Chabad Lubavitch is by far the largest Jewish community building institution in the world today. Following the Holocaust, headed by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson OBM, Chabad Lubavitch has grown to a network of centers in over 2,500 communities in 76 countries and 49 of the 50 United States (South Dakota is on the agenda). Chabad Lubavitch Centers offer a wide array of Jewish services, including educational, social and religious programming, each according to the needs of the local community (Kharkov, Ukraine is different than Boise, Montana).
While Synagogue and Temple membership and participation across North America are on a sharp decline, a recent study by the Jewish Federation in Miami shows that “More than one-in-four Jewish households -some 26 percent—have engaged with Chabad programming during the past year, including 42 percent of Jewish households with children at home” The survey found that Chabad attracted relatively young households. Nearly half of all Jewish households led by people under age 35—some 47 percent—visited a Chabad center or participated in a Chabad-related activity within the past year. Among other findings: Chabad attendees identified themselves as Conservative (32 percent), Reconstructionist (1 percent), Reform (19 percent) or “just Jewish” (23 percent).”
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory (1902-1994), the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty, is considered to have been the most phenomenal Jewish personality of modern times. To hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers around the world, he was -- and still is, despite his passing -- "the Rebbe," undoubtedly, the one individual more than any other singularly responsible for stirring the conscience and spiritual awakening of world Jewry.
Leadership: After the passing of his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, in 1950, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson reluctantly ascended to the leadership of the Lubavitch movement, whose headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. Soon Lubavitch institutions and activities took on new dimensions. The outreaching philosophy of Chabad-Lubavitch was translated into ever greater action, as Lubavitch centers and Chabad Houses were opened in dozens of cities and university campuses around the world.
Passing: On Monday afternoon (March 2, 1992), while praying at the gravesite of his father-in-law and predecessor, the Rebbe suffered a stroke that paralyzed his right side and, most devastatingly, robbed him of the ability to speak. Two years and three months later, the Rebbe passed away in the early morning hours of the 3rd of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, in the year 5754 from creation (June, 12 1994), orphaning a generation.
Uniqueness: With the Rebbe's teachings propelling them and his example serving as a beacon to emulate, Lubavitch has rapidly grown to be a worldwide presence, and all its various activities are stamped with his vision. Small wonder then, that many ask, "What is it about his leadership that was -- and, in so many ways, still is -- so unique? Why do leading personalities of the day maintain such profound respect and admiration for him?"
Past, Present and Future: Many leaders recognize the need of the moment and respond with courage and directions. This is their forte -- and an admirable one. Others, though their strength may not lie in "instant response" to current problems, are blessed with the ability of perceptive foresight -- knowing what tomorrow will bring and how to best prepare. Still other leaders excel in yet a third distinct area, possessing a keen sense of history and tradition; their advice and leadership is molded by a great sensitivity to the past.
But one who possessed all three qualities was truly unique, standing alone in leadership. Such was the Lubavitcher Rebbe -- the inspiration and driving force behind the success of Lubavitch today. Radiating a keen sense of urgency, he demanded much from his followers, and even more from himself. The Rebbe led, above else, by example.
Initiation, Not Reaction: He was a rare blend of prophetic visionary and pragmatic leader, synthesizing deep insight into the present needs of the Jewish people with a breadth of vision for its future. In a sense, he charted the course of Jewish history -- initiating, in addition to reacting to, current events. The Rebbe was guided by inspired insight and foresight in combination with encyclopedic scholarship, and all his pronouncements and undertakings were, first and foremost, rooted in our Holy Torah. Time and again, what was clear to him at the outset became obvious to other leaders with hindsight, decades later.
Everyone's Unique Role: From the moment the Rebbe arrived in America in 1941, his brilliance at addressing himself to the following ideal became apparent: He would not acknowledge division or separation. Every Jew -- indeed every human being -- has a unique role to play in the greater scheme of things and is an integral part of the tapestry of G‑d's creation.
For nearly five of the most critical decades in recent history, the Rebbe's goal to reach out to every corner of the world with love and concern has unfolded dramatically. No sector of the community has been excluded -- young and old; men and women; leader and layman; scholar and laborer; student and teacher; children, and even infants.
He had an uncanny ability to meet everyone at their own level -- he advised Heads of State on matters of national and international importance, explored with professionals the complexities in their own fields of expertise, and spoke to small children with warm words and a fatherly smile.
Chabad of Roosevelt Island
Chabad of Roosevelt Island
Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island enjoys a steeply higher participation rate among the approximate 400 Jewish households; with some 50 percent participating in activities at least once a year, and over 80 percent of families with children take part in Chabad’s activities. One percent classifies themselves as Orthodox.
Chabad Lubavitch of Roosevelt Island is dedicated to providing every Jew regardless of background, philosophy or level of commitment, an open door environment for strengthening and enhancing Jewish life. Chabad Lubavitch serves individuals and families looking for a non-judgmental, accepting, personalized Jewish experience.
7 Facts about Chabad
7 Facts about Chabad
1) Chabad is dedicated to every Jew regardless of background, affiliation, or personal level of observance.
2) At Chabad a Jew is a Jew is a Jew.
3) Chabad delivers
4) Chabad supports
5) Chabad strongly supports Israel and is deeply involved in defending its importance and right to exist.
6) Chabad headquarters supply resource materials, guidance and set the general course of the movement's work internationally.
7) Chabad Houses in the US and internationally must support themselves financially.
The Duchman Family
The Duchman Family
Zalman and Nechama Duchman were both educated in the Chabad educational system in the spirit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Zalman is Director of Development at Colel Chabad—the Chabad’s Social Service arm in Israel—and Nechama is a trained educator. They are raising their seven children in the same fashion, following the Rebbe’s teachings of sharing, caring, kindness, and bringing the world closer to perfection. The Duchmans love hosting guests, debating, cooking and hanging out in the Yellow Park (Blackwell Park) on Shabbat afternoons.