The Chabad-Lubavitch movement occupies a unique position in contemporary Jewish life. Strictly Orthodox in belief, it focuses on outreach to the non-Orthodox Jewish world, from where it also attracts its biggest donors.
How did this chasidic movement achieve its rock star status? And does the growth and rising prominence of the Chabad movement contain a lesson for other Jewish organizations - our synagogues and community agencies - that are struggling to flourish in changing times?
In an article on eJewishPhilanthropy.com, Steven Windmueller, an emeritus professor of Jewish communal service, purports to distill Chabad's success into 10 "core elements." Consideration of those core elements will likely stimulate conversation, as various segments of the Jewish world consider how contemporary Jewish life can be improved, and try to determine the parts of the Chabad formula that are replicable for that purpose.
Here are some of Professor Windmueller's observations:
Chabad isn't the only stream of Judaism with a past, but it has been highly successful in seeming to own the past. Chabad's apparent connection with pre-modern, "Old Country" Judaism, and its willingness to share that connection freely with all who are willing to listen, lends the movement religious authority and an authenticity among Jews who are otherwise modern in their outlook. continue...
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