myth or fact?

Is what you've heard about Chabad Lubavitch myth or fact? You may be surprised. 

Take a few minutes to browse through these FAQ and you'll have a better understanding of what we're all about.

Are Chabad Lubavitch programs only for the Orthodox? The "affiliated"?

Isn't it your goal to make me Orthodox?

Do you accept Reform, Conservative, or non-practicing Jews as "real" Jews?

Does Chabad accept converts?

Does Chabad support Israel?

Aren't you financed by Chabad Lubavitch headquarters in New York?

Do women occupy a secondary position in Chabad philosophy?


Q: Are Chabad Lubavitch programs only for the Orthodox? The "affiliated"?

A: Chabad is inclusive and non-judgmental, and our 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 lifestyle a prerequisite to one's acceptance at Chabad functions.

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Q: Is it the goal of Chabad to make me Orthodox?

A: 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 of and lend valuable insight into one's heritage, traditions, religious practice, laws and rituals.  Each individual is invited to participate, study, and experience.  Each individual makes his or her own respective religious lifestyle decisions at his or her own pace. Each mitzvah stands on its own as an important step in one's personal growth.

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Q: Does Chabad consider Reform, Conservative, or non-practicing Jews as "real" Jews?

A: Chabad avoids labeling Jews, since it tends to divide and create barriers between us.  Judaism has traditionally considered anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted in accordance with Jewish Law 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.

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Q: Does Chabad accept converts?

A: 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 mikvah, circumcision for men, and most importantly, acceptance of the disciplines and practices of Judaism - all under authorized rabbinic supervision.

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Q: Does Chabad support Israel?

A: Chabad is deeply involved in defending Israel and its right to exist, throughout all its boundaries.  Many Chabadniks serve in the Israeli Defense Forces 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. The Rebbe himself encouraged financial support of Israel.

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Q: Is Chabad Lubavitch financed by its headquarters in New York?

A: 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 Lubavitch headquarters in New York.  All funds donated remain right here in our community.

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Q: Do women occupy a secondary position in Chabad philosophy?

A: Different, yes. Secondary? No! Just look at the Chabad women here in Florida! The high standing of Jewish women in Chabad is central to the survival of Judaism. As the cornerstone of Jewish family life, the woman can attain a profound and meaningful spirituality, one that fulfills her deepest needs and aspirations opening fresh perspectives on self-understanding, growth and Torah knowledge. Ignorance, misconceptions, and outright myths about Jewish women have prevailed until very recently, turning many people away from an appreciation of Torah and a traditional Jewish lifestyle. Chabad is working to correct those misconceptions.

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