The most comprehensive research to date regarding content for Chabad Houses in Israel was presented Monday night in Israel.
The research included three comprehensive surveys, as well as ten groups of respondents from those who visited Chabad Houses, and it was presented by senior researcher Dr. Rafi Smith.
Hundreds of men and women participated in the study, and “the number of respondents was high relative to other surveys,” Dr. Smith said.
The study examined three main groups: the general public, traditional-religious people, and those who visited Chabad Houses.
Among other topics, respondents were questioned about the types of Torah classes they would like to attend, the type of Jewish content which appeals to them, and the various services offered by Chabad Houses around Israel. Respondents were also asked about the circumstances in which they participate in Chabad House activities, their satisfaction with the activities offered at the Chabad House, which topics they would like to know more about, why they are interested in learning about Judaism, how often they would like to participate in classes, and more.
The answers showed that the Israeli public which connects to Chabad and sees Chabad as the natural place to learn about Judaism is very heterogeneous.
The survey also showed that the usual stigmas applied to religious people are not applied to members of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
A full 86% of Israel’s “traditional” Jews would like to expand their knowledge of Judaism at a Chabad House, and another 48% said they would “very much” like to do the same. The last 38% said they would “somewhat” like to expand their knowledge of Judaism by visiting a Chabad House.
When the general public was asked why people are interested in expanding their knowledge of Judaism, 38% answered, “because it makes me feel more connected to my Judaism” and 27% answered “because I want to get to know my culture.”
The research also showed that many Israelis have a deep emotional connection to Chabad.