Myths and facts about Chabad
Last updated: 2003-09-09
Discover more about Chabad as we debunk some of the myths surrounding the organisation.
You have to be Orthodox to participate in programs offered by Chabad.
Chabad is inclusive and non-judgmental, and their programs are open to all Jews. In fact, the majority of people who participate in programs at Chabad are not Orthodox. The teachings of Chabad are imbued with the renowned Chassidic spirit and joy, but in no way is the commitment to an Orthodox or Ultra-Orthodox lifestyle a prerequisite to one's acceptance at Chabad functions.
Chabad's goal is to make me Orthodox.
Chabad is not out to make one Orthodox. Chabad is an educational organization dedicated to helping every Jew, regardless of background, affiliation, or personal level of observance, to increase their level of Jewish knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment. Chabad invites you to explore the complex areas of Jewish religion, tradition, and practice in an open-minded and non-judgmental atmosphere. All of Chabad's classes, programs, and services are designed to heighten the awareness and lend valuable insight into one's heritage, traditions, religious practice, laws and rituals. Each individual is invited to participate, study, and learn. Each individual makes his or her own respective religious lifestyle decisions at his or her own pace.
Chabad does not consider Reform, Conservative, or non-practicing Jews as "real" Jews.
Chabad avoids labeling other Jews, since it tends to divide and create barriers between us. Jewish Law has traditionally considered anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted in accordance with Halacha to be a Jew, regardless of his or her degree of observance. The Lubavitcher Rebbe delivered a stinging rebuke to Orthodox elements in the USA and Israel for publicly belittling non-Orthodox Jews.
Chabad does not accept converts.
Chabad follows traditional Jewish Law which states that any non-Jew who feels sincerely convinced of the beauty and relevance of Torah, who is prepared to follow the traditions of Israel, and therefore, wishes to join the community of Israel, is welcomed as a convert. The conversion process requires immersion in a kosher mikveh, circumcision for men, and acceptance of the disciplines and practices of Judaism - all under authorized rabbinic supervision.
Chabad does not support the state of Israel.
Chabad, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe in particular, strongly support Israel and is deeply involved in defending its value and right to exist. Many Chabadnicks serve in the IDF and others contribute practical and spiritual support to the troops. Chabad has over 150 centers in Israel, as well as, dozens of educational facilities around the country. Lubavitch trained Rabbis often complete their training in Israeli Yeshivot.
Chabad is financed by its headquarters in New York.
It is Chabad policy that each center is supported by the community it serves. All funding for local Chabad programs is solicited locally. No money is sent to international Chabad headquarters in New York - all funds donated remain right here in our community. Neither are we funded or financially supported by our central headquarters.