“Through hard work, and more hard work.” If Chabad had a motto to describe its work ethic, he feels it would be, “Sacrifice when necessary, dedication and commitment.” Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum, director of Chabad Lubavitch of Southern Ontario, is soft-spoken but bristles – as much as he’s capable – at the question of whether Chabad is, or should be, run as a business.
“Each mitzvah brings more light, more spirituality to the world at large,” Rabbi Grossbaum said with a smile.
There are 39 centres in Quebec alone, seven of which opened in the last five years. A dozen others dot its suburbs, with some geared specifically toward immigrants from Russia, Israel and South Africa, and still more elsewhere in Ontario. Partly, Chabad offers a different model than established synagogues, which are split along denominational lines and depend on membership, boards and dues. That’s who our responsibility is to.” As he sees it, “It comes down to ahavat Yisra’el – love for your fellow (Jew).
“Many synagogues are seeing their memberships dwindling,” pointed out Rabbi Motti Seligson, a spokesman for Chabad’s global headquarters in New York. “We see all Jews as being members,” Rabbi Seligson explained. If that’s your focus, it doesn’t matter whether they’re in good standing in terms of their financial contribution.
A shooting at a synagogue outside San Diego where worshippers were celebrating the last day of Passover left one woman dead and several people injured.
Chabad-Lubavitch is mammoth and shows no signs of waning.
As the 2015 book, The Secret of Chabad: Inside the World’s Most Successful Jewish Movement, noted: “A small Chassidic group, hammered by the Holocaust and the harsh hand of communism in Russia, would become the largest Jewish organization in the world.” While Judaism’s mainline branches wrestle with ways to retain adherents and other Hasidic groups remain content to keep low profiles – in some cases, shunning the outside world – Chabad continues to grow exponentially, openly embracing any and every Jew.
(Every year, thousands of rabbis convene and sit for a group photo at Chabad headquarters on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights during their five-day International Conference of Chabad Emissaries.) Chabad of Park Slope will host an Evening of Unity, Solidarity and Prayer at Congregation B’nai Jacob, 401 9th St., this Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m., followed by a free Shabbat dinner open to everyone.
At times like this we have to come together, in unity and prayer, and also in celebration of life.” The evening will conclude with a call to action.
“With the passing of Lori Kaye, the world became darker.
“Our hearts are shattered by the cold-blooded attack on our brothers and sisters—Jews of all walks of life gathered at Chabad-Lubavitch of Poway in celebration and prayer to the Almighty on Shabbat and the final day of Passover,” said Rabbi Menashe Wolf of Chabad of Park Slope.
“We mourn the holy soul of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, and we pray for the healing of all the injured.