Chabad, also known as Lubavitch, Habad and Chabad-Lubavitch
(Hebrew: חב"ד), is an Orthodox Jewish, Hasidic movement. Chabad
is today one of the world's best known Hasidic movements and is well
known for its outreach. It is one of the largest Hasidic
groups and Jewish religious organizations in the world.
Founded in 1775 by
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the name "Chabad"
(חב״ד) is a
Hebrew acronym for Chochmah, Binah, Da'at
(חכמה, בינה, דעת): "Wisdom, Understanding, and
Knowledge", which represent the intellectual underpinnings of the
movement. The name "Lubavitch" is the
Yiddish name for the
originally Belorussian village Lyubavichi, now in Russia, where the
movement's leaders lived for over 100 years.
In the 1930s, the sixth
Rebbe of Chabad,
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak
Schneersohn, moved the center of the
Chabad movement from
Poland. After the outbreak of World War Two, the sixth
Rebbe moved the
center of the movement to the United States.
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Menachem Mendel Schneerson became the seventh Chabad
Rebbe. The seventh
Rebbe transformed the movement into one of the
largest and most widespread Jewish movements in the world today. Under
Rabbi Menachem Mendel's leadership, the movement established a network
of more than 3,600 institutions that provide religious, social and
humanitarian needs in over 1,000 cities, spanning 100 countries and
all 50 American states. Chabad
institutions provide outreach to unaffiliated
Jews and humanitarian
aid, as well as religious, cultural and educational activities at
Chabad-run community centers, synagogues, schools, camps, and soup
The movement is thought to number between 40,000 and 200,000
adherents. In 2005 the Jerusalem Center for Public
Affairs reported that up to one million
Chabad services at
least once a year. In 2013,
Chabad forecast that their
Chanukah activities would reach up to 8,000,000
Jews in 80 countries
1.2 Oppression and resurgence in Russia
1.3 Relations with other Hasidic groups
3.2 United States
3.2.1 Student body in the United States
3.6 Ashkenazim and Sephardim
4 Customs and holidays
6.1.1 By geographic region
6.2 The "
7.2 Outreach activities
7.2.2 Shluchim (Emissaries)
7.2.4 Campus outreach
126.96.36.199 Community websites
7.4 Summer camps
7.5 Political activities
7.5.1 Library dispute with Russia
8.1 Succession disputes and offshoot groups
9 In the arts
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Chabad movement was established in the town of Liozna, Grand Duchy
of Lithuania (present day Belarus), in 1775, by
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of
Liadi, a student of
Rabbi Dovber ben Avraham, the "Maggid of
Mezritch", the successor to Hasidism's founder,
Israel Baal Shem
Tov. The movement was based in Lyubavichi (Lubavitch) for over a
century, then briefly centered in the cities of Rostov-on-Don, Riga,
and Warsaw. Since 1940, the movement's center has been in the
Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.
While the movement has spawned a number of other groups, the
Chabad-Lubavitch branch appears to be the only one still active,
making it the movement's main surviving line. Sarna has
Chabad as having enjoyed the fastest rate of growth of
any Jewish religious movement for the period 1946-2015.
In the early 1900s, Chabad-Lubavitch legally incorporated itself under
Agudas Chasidei Chabad
Agudas Chasidei Chabad ("Association of
Part of a series on
(Rebbes and Chasidim)
Rebbes of Chabad
Shneur Zalman of Liadi
Shneur Zalman of Liadi (Alter Rebbe)
Dovber Schneuri (Mitteler Rebbe)
Schneersohn (Tzemach Tzedek)
Shmuel Schneersohn (
Sholom Dovber Schneersohn
Sholom Dovber Schneersohn (
Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn
Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (
Menachem M. Schneerson (the Rebbe)
Chaim S. Z. of Liadi
Yitzchak Dovber of Liadi
Schneersohn (d. 1860)
Chaya M. Schneerson (1901-1988)
Levi Y. Schneerson
Shlomo Zalman Schneersohn
Shmaryahu Noah Schneersohn
Yehuda Leib Schneersohn
Moshe D. Gutnick
Yehuda K. Marlow
Yosef Y. Braun
Shmuel L. Medalia
Shmarya Y. L. Medalia
Shneur Z. Fradkin
Mashpiim and scholars
Aaron of Staroselye
Avraham C. Naeh
Jacob I. Schochet
Menachem Z. Greenglass
Sholom Dov Wolpo
Shlomo Y. Zevin
Yosef Y. Jacobson
Zalman M. HaYitzchaki
Abraham Y. Khein
Mazkirus and other leaders
Chaim M. A. Hodakov
Jacob J. Hecht
Menachem S. D. Raichik
Zalman I. Posner
Arie Z. Raskin
Yitzchok D. Groner
Moshe R. Azman
Other notable figures
Media on Commons
Chabad movement has been led by a succession of Hasidic rebbes.
The main line of the movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, has had seven rebbes
Shneur Zalman of Liadi
Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812), founded the Chabad
movement in the town of Liozna. He later moved the movement's center
to the town of Liadi.
Rabbi Shneur Zalman was the youngest disciple of
Rabbi Dovber of Mezritch, the principal disciple and successor of
Israel Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism. The
began as a separate school of thought within the Hasidic movement,
focusing of the spread of Hasidic mystical teachings using logical
reasoning (creating a kind of Jewish "rational-mysticism"). Shneur
Zalman's main work is the
Tanya (or Sefer Shel Beinonim,
Book of the
Average Man). The
Tanya is the central book of
Chabad thought and is
studied daily by followers of the
Chabad movement. Shneur Zalman's
other works include a collection of writings on Hasidic thought, and
Shulchan Aruch HaRav, a revised version of the code of Jewish law,
both of which are studied regularly by followers of Chabad. Shneur
Zalman's successors went by last names such as "Schneuri" and
"Schneersohn" (later "Schneerson"), signifying their descent from the
movement's founder. He is commonly referred to as the Alter Rebbe
(Yiddish: אַלטער רבי) or Admur Hazoken (Hebrew: אדמו״ר
הזקן) ("Old Rebbe").
Dovber Schneuri (1773–1827), son of
Rabbi Shneur Zalman, led
Chabad movement in the town of Lyubavichi (Lubavitch). His
leadership was initially disputed by
Rabbi Aaron Halevi of Stroselye,
Rabbi Dovber was generally recognized as his father's
rightful successor, and the movement's leader.
Rabbi Dovber published
a number of his writings on Hasidic thought, greatly expanding his
father's work. He also published some of his father's writings. Many
Rabbi Dovber's works have been subsequently republished by the
Chabad movement. He is commonly referred to as the Mitteler Rebbe
(Yiddish: מיטעלער רבי), or Admur Ha'emtzoei (Hebrew:
אדמו״ר האמצעי) (Middle Rebbe).
Menachem Mendel Schneersohn
Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (1789–1866), a grandson of Rabbi
Shneur Zalman and son-in-law of
Rabbi Dovber. Following his attempt to
Chabad movement to accept his brother-in-law or uncle as
Rabbi Menachem Mendel assumed the title of rebbe of Chabad,
also leading the movement from the town of Lyubavichi (Lubavitch). He
published a number of his works on both Hasidic thought and Jewish
Rabbi Menachem Mendel also published some of the works of his
Rabbi Shneur Zalman. He is commonly referred to as the
Tzemach Tzedek, after the title of his responsa.
Shmuel Schneersohn (1834–1882), was the seventh and youngest
Rabbi Menachem Mendel. He assumed the title of rebbe in town of
Lyubavichi (Lubavitch), while several of his brothers assumed the
title of rebbe in other towns, forming groups of their own. Years
after his death, his teachings were published by the
He is commonly referred to as the Maharash, an acronym for "Moreinu
HaRav Shmuel" ("our teacher,
Rabbi Shalom Dovber
Schneersohn (1860–1920), Shmuel's second son,
succeeded his father as rebbe.
Rabbi Shalom Dovber waited some time
before officially accepting the title of rebbe, as not to offend his
elder brother, Zalman Aaron. He established a yeshiva called Tomchei
Temimim. During World War One, he moved to Rostov-on-Don. Many of his
writings were published after his death, and are studied regularly in
Chabad yeshivas. He is commonly referred to as the Rashab, an acronym
Rabbi Shalom Ber".
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as "the Lubavitcher Rebbe"
Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn
Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880–1950), the only son of Sholom
Dovber, succeeded his father as rebbe of Chabad.
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak
was exiled from Russia, following an attempt by the Bolshevik
government to have him executed. He led the movement from Warsaw,
Poland, until the start of World War Two. After fleeing the Nazis,
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak lived in Brooklyn, New York until his death. He
established much of Chabad's current organizational structure,
founding several of its central organizations as well as other Chabad
institutions, both local and international. He published a number of
his writings, as well as the works of his predecessors. He is commonly
referred to as the Rayatz, or the Frierdiker
Rebbe ("Previous Rebbe").
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994), son-in-law of
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, and a great-grandson of the third
Lubavitch, assumed the title of rebbe one year after his
Rabbi Menachem Mendel greatly expanded Chabad's
global network, establishing hundreds of new
Chabad centers across the
globe. He published many of his own works as well as the works of his
predecessors. His teachings are studied regularly by followers of
Chabad. He is commonly referred to as "the Lubavitcher Rebbe", or
simply "the Rebbe". Even after his death, many continue to revere him
as the leader of the
Oppression and resurgence in Russia
Chabad movement was subject to government oppression in Russia.
The Russian government, first under the Czar, later under the
Bolsheviks, imprisoned all but one of the
Chabad rebbes. The
Bolsheviks also imprisoned, exiled and executed a number of Chabad
Hasidim. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in
Chabad is not persecuted by the Russian government.
Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, has good relations with Russian
President Vladimir Putin. Lazar also received the Order of
Order "For Merit to the Fatherland"
Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" medals from
Relations with other Hasidic groups
In the 1980s, tensions arose between
Satmar Chasidim as the
result of several assaults on
Chabad hasidim by Satmar
Hasidic philosophy focuses on religious and spiritual concepts
such as God, the soul, and the meaning of the Jewish commandments.
Classical Judaic writings and Jewish mysticism, especially the Zohar
Rabbi Isaac Luria, are frequently cited in Chabad
works. These texts are used both as sources for
Chabad teachings, as
well as material requiring interpretation by
Chabad authors. Chabad
philosophy is rooted in the teachings of Rabbis Yisroel ben Eliezer,
(the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism) and Dovber ben Avraham, the
"Maggid of Mezritch" (
Rabbi Yisroel's successor).
Rabbi Shneur Zalman's teachings formed the basis of
as expanded by succeeding generations. Many
Chabad activities today
are understood as applications of Shneur Zalman's teachings.[citation
Main article: Tanya
Sefer HaTanya, Shneur Zalman's magnum opus, is the first schematic
treatment of Hasidic moral philosophy and its metaphysical
foundations. The original name of the first book is Sefer Shel
Book of the Intermediates. It is also known as Likutei
Amarim — Collected Sayings. Sefer Shel Beinonim analyzes the inner
struggle of the individual and the path to resolution. Citing the
biblical verse "the matter is very near to you, in your mouth, your
heart, to do", the philosophy is based on the notion that the
human is not inherently evil; rather, every individual has an inner
conflict that is characterized with two different inclinations, the
good and the bad.
According to Shneur Zalman's seminal work Tanya, the intellect
consists of three interconnected processes: Chochma (wisdom), Bina
(understanding), and Da'at (knowledge). While other branches of
Hasidism focused primarily on the idea that "God desires the heart,"
Shneur Zalman argued that God also desires the mind, and that the mind
is the "gateway" to the heart. With the
Chabad philosophy he elevated
the mind above the heart, arguing that "understanding is the mother of
fear and love for God".
Chabad often contrasted itself with what is termed the
of Hasidism. While all schools of Hasidism have a certain focus on
Chagat saw emotions as a reaction to physical stimuli,
such as dancing, singing, or beauty. Shneur Zalman, on the other hand,
taught that the emotions must be led by the mind, and thus the focus
Chabad thought was to be
Torah study and prayer rather than
esotericism and song. As a Talmudist, Shneur Zalman endeavored to
Kabbalah and Hasidism on a rational basis. In Tanya, he defines
his approach as moach shalit al halev (Hebrew: "מוח שליט על
הלב", "the brain ruling the heart").
Lag BaOmer parade in front of
Chabad headquarters at 770 Eastern
Parkway, Brooklyn, New York, in 1987
An adherent of
Chabad is called a
Chabad Chasid (or Hasid) (Hebrew:
חסיד חב"ד), a Lubavitcher (Yiddish:
ליובאַוויטשער), a Chabadnik (Hebrew: חבדניק),
or a Chabadsker (Yiddish: חבדסקער). Chabad's adherents
include both Hasidic followers, as well as non-Hasidim, who have
Chabad synagogues and other
Chabad run institutions.
Chabad community consists of the followers (Hasidim) of the Chabad
Rebbes. Originally, based in Eastern Europe, today, various Chabad
communities span the globe; the communities with higher concentrations
of Chabad's Hasidic followers are located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn,
and Kfar Chabad, Israel. Other communities hold smaller population
According to sociologists studying contemporary Jewry, the Chabad
movement fits into neither the standard category of
Haredi nor that of
modern Orthodox among Orthodox Jews. This is due in part to the
existence of the "non-Orthodox Hasidim", the general lack of official
recognition of political and religious distinctions within
the open relationship with non-Orthodox
Jews represented by the
Demographic accounts on the
Chabad movement vary.
Chabad adherents are
often reported to number some 200,000 persons. Some
scholars have pointed to the lack of quantitative data to back this
claim, and some place the number of
Chabad followers at around
40,000 but note that the number may be higher if the non-Hasidic Jews
Chabad synagogues are included as well.
Compared to other Hasidic groups,
Chabad is currently thought to be
the largest, the third or fourth largest Hasidic movement.
Ronald Reagan receives menorah from the "American Friends of
Lubavitch," White House, 1984
An estimate for
Chabad in the United States places the movement's
followers in the US at around 18,600. The estimate is drawn from
existing data on the Montreal
Chabad community, and
Chabad day school
Crown Heights – The Crown Heights
Chabad community's estimated size
is 10,000 to 12,000 or 12,000 to 16,000. In 2006,
extrapolating based on census data, it was estimated that the Chabad
community in Crown Heights make up some 11,000. It was estimated that
between 25% to 35% of
Hasidim in Crown Heights speak Yiddish.
This figure is significantly lower than other Hasidic groups and may
be attributed to the addition of previously non-Hasidic
Jews to the
community. It was also estimated that over 20% of
Crown Heights speak
Hebrew or Russian. The Crown Heights Chabad
community has its own Beis Din (rabbinical court) and Crown Heights
Jewish Community Council (CHJCC).
Chabad hipsters – Beginning from the late 2000s through the 2010s, a
minor trend of cross acculturation of
Hasidim and contemporary
hipster subculture appeared within the New York Jewish community.
According to The Jewish Daily Forward, a significant number of members
Chabad Hasidic community, mostly residing in Crown Heights,
Brooklyn, appear to now have adopted various cultural affinities of
the local hipster subculture. These members are referred to as Chabad
hipsters or Hipster Hasidim.
Student body in the United States
The report findings of studies on Jewish day schools and supplementary
Jewish education in the United States show that the student body
currently enrolled in some 295
Chabad schools exceeds
Kfar Chabad – Kfar Chabad's estimated size is 5,100; the residents
of the town are believed to all be
Chabad adherents. This estimate is
based on figures published by the Israeli Census Bureau. Other
estimates place the community population at around 7,000. The
Kfar Chabad is
Rabbi Meir Ashkenazi.
Safed – The
Chabad community in
Safed (or Tzfat) originates from the
wave of Eastern European immigration to
Israel of 1777–1840. The
Chabad community established synagogues and institutions in Safed. The
early settlement declined by the 20th century but was renewed
following an initiative by the seventh
Rebbe in the early 1970s, which
Chabad community in the city.
HaLevi Horowitz (1883–1978), a
Safed native and direct descendant of
Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz, author of the Shnei Luchot HaBrit, served as
the rabbi of the
Chabad community in
Safed from 1908 until his
immigration to the U.S. during World War I. Members of the Chabad
community run a number of outreach efforts during the Jewish holidays.
Activities include blowing the shofar for the elderly on Rosh Hashana,
reading the Megilla for hospital patients on Purim and setting up a
Sukka on the town's main street during the Succoth holiday.
Chabad community in France is estimated to be between 10,000 and
15,000. The majority of the
Chabad community in France are the
descendants of immigrants from North
Africa (specifically Algeria,
Morocco and Tunisia) during the 1960s.
Montreal – The estimated size of the
Chabad community of Greater
Montreal is 1,590. The estimate is taken from a 2003 community
Chabad community in Montreal originated sometime
prior to 1931. While early works on Canadian Jewry make little or no
mention of early Hasidic life in Canada, later researchers have
documented accounts of
Chabad in Canada starting from the 1900s and
1910s. Steven Lapidus notes that there is mention of two Chabad
congregations in a 1915 article in
Canadian Jewish Chronicle listing
the delegates of the first Canadian Jewish Conference. One
congregation is listed as
Chabad of Toronto, the other is simply
listed as "Libavitzer Congregation". Sociologist
William Shaffir has
noted that some
Hasidim and sympathizers did reside in Montreal
prior to 1941 but does not elaborate further. Steven Lapidus also
notes that in a 1931 obituary published in Keneder Odler, a Canadian
Yiddish newspaper, the deceased,
Rabbi Menashe Lavut, is credited as
the founder of Anshei
Chabad in Montreal and the
Nusach Ari synagogue.
Chabad presence in Montreal predates 1931.
Ashkenazim and Sephardim
Chabad movement was founded in Eastern Europe, a center of
Ashkenazic Jewry, it has in the past several decades attracted a
significant number of Sephardi
Jews as adherents. Some Chabad
communities are now a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardi
Chabad Hasidim. In
Montreal, close to 25% of
Chabad households include a Sephardi
Customs and holidays
Chabad customs and holidays
Chabad adherents follow
Chabad traditions and prayer services based on
Lurianic kabbalah. General
Chabad customs, called minhagim (or
minhagei Chabad), distinguish the movement from other Hasidic groups.
Some of the main
Chabad customs are minor practices performed on
traditional Jewish holidays:
Passover – It is customary in
Chabad communities, on passover, to
limit contact of matzah (an unleavened bread eaten on passover) with
water. This custom is called gebrokts (Yiddish: געבראָכטס,
lit. 'broken'). However, on the last day of passover, it is customary
to intentionally have matzah come in contact with water.
Chanukah – It is the custom of
Hasidim to place the Chanukah
menorah against the room's doorpost (and not on the
Prayer – The founder of
Chabad wrote a very specific liturgy for the
daily and festival prayers based on the teachings of the Kabbalists,
primarily the Arizal.
The founder of
Chabad also instituted various other Halachic rulings,
including the use of stainless steel knives for the slaughter of
animal before human consumption, which is by now universally accepted
in all sects of Judaism.
There are a number of days marked by the
Chabad movement as special
days. Major holidays include the liberation dates of the leaders of
the movement, the Rebbes of Chabad, others corresponded to the
leaders' birthdays, anniversaries of death, and other life events.
The days marking the leaders' release, are celebrated by the Chabad
movement as "Days of Liberation" (Hebrew: יום גאולה (Yom
Geulah)). The most noted day is
Yud Tes Kislev
Yud Tes Kislev – The liberation of
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the
Chabad movement. The
day is also called the "New Year of Hasidism".
The birthdays of several of the movement's leaders are celebrated each
year include Chai Elul, the birthday of
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi,
the founder of the
Chabad movement, and Yud Aleph Nissan, the
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh rebbe of
The anniversaries of death, or yartzeit, of several of the movement's
leaders are celebrated each year, include Yud Shvat, the yartzeit of
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth rebbe of Chabad,
Gimmel Tammuz, the yartzeit of
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the
seventh rebbe of Chabad, and Chof Beis Shvat, the yartzeit of
Chaya Mushka Schneerson, the wife of
Rabbi Menachem Mendel
Chabad's influence since
World War Two
World War Two has been far reaching among
Chabad pioneered the post-
World War II
World War II Jewish outreach
movement, which spread
Judaism to many assimilated
leading to a substantial number of baalei teshuva ("returnees" to
Judaism). The very first Yeshiva/Rabbinical College for such baalei
teshuva, Hadar Hatorah, was established by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. It
is reported that up to a million
Chabad services at least
once a year.
According to Steven I. Weiss, Chabad's ideology has dramatically
influenced non-Hasidic Jews' outreach practice.
Because of its outreach to all Jews, including those quite alienated
from religious Jewish tradition,
Chabad has been described as the one
Orthodox group to evoke great affection from large segments of
Chabad affiliated organizations
Chabad's central organization representing the movement at large,
Agudas Chasidei Chabad, is headed by
Rabbi Abraham Shemtov. The
educational, outreach and social services arms, Merkos L'Inyonei
Chinuch and Machneh
Israel is headed by
Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, as well
as the Chabad-Lubavitch publishing house,
Kehot Publication Society.
Chabad centers and institutions are usually incorporated as
separate legal entities.
As of 2007 there are 3,300
Chabad institutions around the
world. As of 2006 there were
Chabad centers in 75
Listed on the
Chabad movement's online directory are around 1,350
Chabad institutions. This number includes schools and other
Chabad-affiliated establishments. The number of
Chabad centers vary
per country; the majority are in the United States and Israel. There
are over 40 countries with a small
In total, according to its directory,
Chabad maintains a presence in
950 cities around the world: 178 in Europe, 14 in Africa, 200 in
Israel, 400 in North America, 38 in South America, and about 70 in
Asia (excluding Israel, including Russia).
By geographic region
Berel Lazar (left) speaks with Russian President
Vladimir Putin, 28 December 2016
Chabad institutions by geographic region
Chabad presence varies from region to region. The continent with the
highest concentration of
Chabad centers is North America. The
continent with the least centers is Africa.
Chabad house is a form of Jewish community center, primarily serving
both educational and observance purposes. Often, until the
community can support its own center, the
Chabad house is located in
the shaliach's home, with the living room being used as the
"synagogue". Effort is made to provide an atmosphere in which the
nonobservant will not feel intimidated by any perceived contrast
between their lack of knowledge of Jewish practice and the advanced
knowledge of some of the people they meet there. The term "Chabad
House" originated with the creation of the first such outreach center
on the campus of UCLA by
Rabbi Shlomo Cunin. A key to the Chabad
house was given to the
Rebbe and he asked if that meant that the new
house was his home. He was told yes and he replied, "My hand will be
on the door of this house to keep it open twenty-four hours a day for
young and old, men and women alike."
In the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the local
Chabad house was
targeted. The local
Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, and four other
Jews were tortured and
murdered by Islamic terrorists.
Chabad received condolences from
around the world.
Funds for activities of a
Chabad center rely entirely on the local
Chabad centers do not receive funding from Lubavitch
headquarters. For the day-to-day operations, local emissaries do all
the fundraising by themselves.
Chabad emissaries often solicit the support of local Jews. Funds
are used toward purchasing or renovating
Chabad centers, synagogues
Chabad movement has been involved in numerous activities in
contemporary Jewish life. These activities include providing Jewish
education to different age groups, outreach to non-affiliated Jews,
publishing Jewish literature, summer camps for children among other
Chabad runs a number of educational institutions. Most are Jewish day
schools; others offer secondary and adult education.
Day schools – In the United States, there are close to 300 day
schools and supplementary schools run by Chabad.
Secondary schools –
Chabad runs multiple secondary education
institutions, most notable are
Tomchei Tmimim for young men, and Bais
Rivka for young women.
Adult education –
Chabad run adult education programs include those
organized by the Rohr Jewish Learning
Institute, and the Jewish Learning
Group photo of
Chabad Shluchim (emissaries) in 2007
Much of the movement's activities emphasize on outreach activities.
This is due to
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Menachem Mendel Schneerson encouraging his
followers to reach out to other Jews.
Chabad outreach includes
activities promoting the practice of Jewish commandments (Mitzvah
campaigns), as well as other forms of Jewish outreach. Much of
Chabad's outreach is performed by
Chabad emissaries (see Shaliach
The Rebbes of Chabad
The Rebbes of Chabad have issued the call to all
Jews to attract
Jews to adopt Orthodox Jewish observance, teaching that
this activity is part of the process of bringing the Messiah. Rabbi
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Menachem Mendel Schneerson issued a call to every Jew: "Even if you
are not fully committed to a
Torah life, do something. Begin with a
mitzvah — any mitzvah — its value will not be diminished by the
fact that there are others that you are not prepared to do".
Schneerson also suggested ten specific mitzvot that he believed were
ideally suited for the emissaries to introduce to non-observant Jews.
These were called "mivtzoim" — meaning "campaigns" or "endeavors".
These were: lighting candles before
Shabbat and the
Jewish holidays by
Jewish women; putting on tefillin; affixing a mezuzah; regular Torah
study; giving Tzedakah; purchasing Jewish books; observing kashrut
(kosher); kindness to others; Jewish religious education, and
observing the family purity laws.
In addition, Schneerson emphasized spreading awareness of preparing
for and the coming of the moshiach Jewish messiah, consistent with his
philosophy. He wrote on the responsibility to reach out to teach every
fellow Jew with love, and implored that all
Jews believe in the
imminent coming of the moshiach as explained by Maimonides. He argued
that redemption was predicated on
Jews doing good deeds, and that
gentiles should be educated about the Noahide Laws.
Chabad has been a
prime force in disseminating awareness of these laws.
Schneerson was emphatic about the need to encourage and provide strong
education for every child, Jew and non-Jew alike. In honor of
Schneerson's efforts in education the
United States Congress
United States Congress has made
Education and Sharing Day
Education and Sharing Day on the Rebbe's
Hebrew Birthday (11 Nissan).
Main article: Shaliach (Chabad)
Following the initiative of
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, Rabbi
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Menachem Mendel Schneerson spurred on the movement to what has become
known as shlichus ("serving as an emissary [performing outreach]") in
1950–1951. As a result,
Chabad shluchim ("emissaries", sing.
shliach) have moved all over the world with the stated mission of
Jews to adopt Orthodox Jewish observance.
Jews with all their religious needs, as well as with
physical assistance and spiritual guidance and teaching. The stated
goal is to encourage
Jews to learn more about their Jewish heritage
and to practice Judaism.
Chabad movement, motivated by Schneerson, has trained and ordained
thousands of rabbis, educators, ritual slaughterers, and ritual
circumcisers, who are then accompanied by their spouses to many
locations around the world. Typically, a young Lubavitch rabbi and his
wife, in their early twenties, with one or two children, will move to
a new location, and as they settle in will raise a large family who,
as a family unit, will aim to fulfill their mandate of bringing Jewish
people closer to
Orthodox Judaism and encouraging gentiles to adhere
to the Seven Laws of Noah. To date, there around 5000 shluchim in
100 different countries.
Mitzvah tank in Golders Green, London
A mitzvah tank is a vehicle used by
Chabad members involved in
outreach as a portable "educational and outreach center" and
"mini-synagogue" (or "minagogue").
Mitzvah tanks are commonly used for
Mitzvah tanks have been commonplace
on the streets of
New York City
New York City since 1974. Today, they are used
all over the globe, in countries where
Chabad is active.
Chabad on Campus Foundation
In recent years,
Chabad has greatly expanded its outreach on
university and college campuses.
Chabad Student Centers are active on
over 100 campuses, and
Chabad offers varied activities at an
additional 150 universities worldwide. Professor Alan Dershowitz
has said "Chabad's presence on college campuses today is absolutely
crucial," and "we cannot rest until
Chabad is on every major college
campus in the world."
Kehot Publication Society
Chabad publishes and distributes Jewish religious literature. Under
Kehot Publication Society, Chabad's main publishing house, Jewish
literature has been translated into 12 different languages. Kehot
regularly provides books at discounted prices, and hosts book-a-thons.
Kehot commonly distributes books written or transcribed from the
rebbes of Chabad, prominent chassidim and other authors who have
written Jewish materials.
Kehot is a division of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, the movement's
More than any other Jewish movement,
Chabad has used media as part of
its religious, social, and political experience. Their latest leader,
Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was the most video-documented Jewish
leader in history.[page needed]
Main article: Chabad.org
Chabad movement publishes a wealth of Jewish material on the
internet. Chabad's main website Chabad.org, is one of the first Jewish
websites and the first and largest virtual
congregation. It serves not just its own members but Jews
worldwide in general.
Main article: List of
Chabad community websites include collive.com,
CrownHeights.info, Chabad.org, Shmais.com, Chdailynews.com, and the
Hebrew site, COL.org.il.
Main article: Gan
Israel Camping Network
Chabad has set up an extensive network of camps around the world, most
using the name Gan Israel, a name chosen by Schneerson although the
first overnight camp was the girls division called Camp Emunah. There
are 1,200 sites serving 210,000 children — most of whom do not come
from Orthodox homes. Of these, 500 camps are in the United
Schneerson involved himself in matters relating to the resolution of
Israeli-Arab conflict. He maintained that as a matter of
Jewish law, any territorial concession on Israel's part would
endanger the lives of all
Jews in the Land of Israel, and is therefore
forbidden. He also insisted that even discussing the possibility of
such concessions showed weakness, would encourage Arab attacks, and
therefore endanger Jewish lives.
In USA domestic politics, Schneerson supported government involvement
in education and welcomed the establishment of the United States
Department of Education in 1980, yet insisted that part of a school's
educational mission was to incorporate the values espoused in the
Seven Laws of Noah. He called for the introduction of a moment of
silence at the beginning of the school day, and for students to be
encouraged to use this time for such improving thoughts or prayers as
their parents might suggest.
In 1981, Schneerson publicly called for the use of solar energy.
Schneerson believed that the USA could achieve energy independence by
developing solar energy technologies. He argued that the dependence on
foreign oil may lead to the country compromising on its
Library dispute with Russia
In 2013, US federal judge Royce Lamberth ruled in favor of Chabad
lawyers that wanted contempt sanctions on three Russian organizations
to return the
Schneersohn Library – 12,000 books belonging to Rabbi
Schneersohn seized and nationalized by the
1917-18, to the
Chabad Library. Lazar reluctantly
accepted Putin's request in moving the Schneerson Library to Moscow's
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center as a form of compromise, which was
criticized by the
Several movement-wide controversies have occurred in Chabad's 200-year
history. Two major leadership succession controversies occurred in the
1800s, one took place in the 1810s following the death of the
movement's founder, the other occurred in the 1860s following the
death of the third Rebbe. Two other minor offshoot groups were formed
later in the movement's history. The movement's other major
Chabad messianism, which began in the 1990s. Chabad
messianism appears to be among the most frequently cited controversies
within the Orthodox Jewish community.
Succession disputes and offshoot groups
Chabad offshoot groups
A number of groups have split from the
Chabad movement, forming their
own Hasidic groups, and at times, positioning themselves as possible
successors of previous
Chabad rebbes. Following the deaths of the
first and third rebbes of Chabad, disputes arose over their
The death of
Rabbi Shneur Zalman – Following the death of Rabbi
Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first
Chabad rebbe, a dispute over his
succession led to a break within the movement. While the recognized
Rabbi Dovber Schneuri, a student of
Rabbi Shneur Zalman,
Rabbi Aaron HaLevi assumed the title of rebbe, and led a number of
followers from the town of Strashelye. The new group had two rebbes,
Rabbi Aaron and his son
Rabbi Haim Rephael. The new group eventually
Rabbi Haim Rephael's death. One of the
main points the two rabbis disagreed on was the place of spiritual
ecstasy in prayer. R' Aharon supported the idea while
emphasized genuine ecstasy can only be a result of meditative
Rabbi Dovber published his arguments on
the subject in an compilation titled Kuntres Hispa'alus ("Tract on
The death of
Menachem Mendel Schneersohn
Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (the Tzemach Tzedek)
– Following the death of the third
Schneersohn (the Tzemach Tzedek), a dispute over his succession
led to the formation of several
Chabad groups. While
Schneersohn was recognized as the heir to the Chabad-Lubavitch line,
several of his brothers formed groups of their own in the towns of
Kopys (forming the
Nezhin (forming the Niezhin
dynasty), Lyady (forming the Liadi dynasty), and
Ovruch (forming the
Avrutch dynasty). The lifespan of these groups varied; Niezhin and
Avrutch had one rebbe each, Liadi had two rebbes, and
Kapust had four.
Following the deaths of their last rebbes, these groups eventually
Two other minor offshoot groups were formed by
The Malachim – The Malachim were formed as a quasi-Hasidic group.
The group claims to recognize the teachings of the first four rebbes
of Chabad, thus rivaling the later
Chabad rebbes. The Malachim's first
and only rebbe,
Rabbi Chaim Avraham Dov Ber Levine haCohen
(1859/1860–1938), also known as "The Malach" (lit. "the angel"), was
a follower of the fourth and fifth rebbes of Chabad.
While Levine did not leave a successor, the Malachim group continues
to maintain a yeshiva and minyan in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Liozna - Following the death of the seventh
Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi
Menachem Mendel Schneerson, an attempt by
Shaul Shimon Deutsch to form
Chabad movement, with Deutsch as "
Liozna Rebbe", fails to
gain popular support.
In the late 1980s, the
Rebbe called for his followers to become
involved in outreach activities with the purpose of bringing about the
Jewish Messianic Age. Statements concerning the advancement of the
Messianic age was a factor leading to the controversy surrounding the
messianic beliefs of some members of the movement. Some Chabad
Hasidim, called mashichists, "have not yet accepted the Rebbe's
passing" and even after his death regard him as the (living)
'King Messiah' and 'Moses of the generation'.
In the arts
Chabad Hasidic artists
Hendel Lieberman and Zalman Kleinman have
painted a number of scenes depicting
Chabad Hasidic culture, including
religious ceremonies, study and prayer.
Chabad artist Michoel Muchnik
has painted scenes of the
Artist and shaliach
Yitzchok Moully has adapted silkscreen techniques,
bright colours and Jewish and Hasidic images to create a form of
"Chasidic Pop Art".
Avraham Fried and Benny Friedman have included recordings of
Chabad songs on their albums of contemporary Orthodox
Jewish music. Bluegrass artist
Andy Statman has also recorded Chabad
Matisyahu has included portions of
Chabad niggunim and
Chabad philosophical themes in some of his songs.
Chaim Potok authored a work
My Name is Asher Lev
My Name is Asher Lev in which a
Hasidic teen struggles between his artistic passions and the norms of
the community. The "Ladover" community is a thinly veiled reference to
the Lubavitcher community in Crown Heights.
Zvi Yair has written poems on
Chabad philosophical topics
including Ratzo V'Shov (spiritual yearning).
The Chabad-Lubavitch community has been the subject of a number of
documentary films. These films include:
The Spark – a 28-minute film, produced in 1974, providing an
overview of the Lubavitch and
Satmar of New York
Religious America: Lubavitch – a 28-minute, 1974
focusing on a day in the life of a Lubavitcher man
King of Crown Heights – a 60-minute, 1993 film on Lubavitcher
Columbia University student Roggerio Gabbai
Shekinah – a 70 min, 2013 documentary exploring the
perspectives of the female students of a
Chabad school in
Project 2x1 – a 30 min, 2013 documentary on the
West Indian residents of Crown Heights, using
Google Glass in
place of conventional camera techniques
Baal Shem Tov
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adults in the world (with the possible exception of the Daf Yomi
enterprise), which currently enrolls over 66,000 teens and adults at
some 850 sites around the world, each following a prescribed course of
study according to a set timetable.
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Rohr Jewish Learning Institute- an internationally acclaimed adult
education program running on over 350 cities worldwide, which boast
over 75,000 students. This particular course builds on the latest
observations and discoveries in the field of positive psychology. "How
Happiness Thinks" offers participants the chance to earn up to 15
continuing education credits from the American Psychological
Association (APA), American Council for Continuing Medical Education
(ACCME) and the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
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in numerous foreign locations, including Australia, Argentina,
Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel,
the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and
Venezuela. More than 260,000 students have attended JLI classes since
the organization was founded in 1998.
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ISBN 978-3-319-01657-3. ... is currently the largest provider of
adult Jewish learning. JLI's mission is to inspire Jewish learning
worldwide and to transform Jewish life and the greater community
Torah study. Its goal is to create a global network of
informed students connected by bonds of shared Jewish experience.
JLI's holistic approach to Jewish study considers the impact of Jewish
values on personal and interpersonal growth. (The authors of the book
are Professor Ira Sheskin of Department of Geography and Regional
Studies, The Jewish Demography Project, The Sue and Leonard Miller
Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, University of Miami, and
Professor Arnold Dashefsky, Department of Sociology, The Center for
Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, University of
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