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  • The Secret of Chabad’s Success

    Established Orthodox Synagogues and Reform & Conservative Temples are closing down, but Chabad is growing. What is the secret behind Chabad's stellar success? ● Shani McManus, a reporter for Florida Sun Sentinel interviewed three Florida Shluchim to discover the secret: Rabbi Ruvi New (East Boca Raton); Rabbi Sholom Ciment (Boynton Beach) and Rabbi Yisroel Spalter (Weston) ● Read More

    L to R: Chabad Houses of Boynton Beach, Weston, East Boca Raton

    By Shani McManus / Florida Sun Sentinel
     
    While some mainstream synagogues struggle to keep the doors open, or merge with other area synagogues due to dwindling membership and financial strains, others, specifically Chabads and Orthodox synagogues, appear to be flourishing.

    With the recent closing of a 40-year-old Delray Beach temple, community spiritual leaders offer some causes of decking mainstream synagogue participation.

    “A big part of Chabad’s success is that the way we operate is different than the mold of conventional synagogues,” Rabbi Ruvi New of Chabad of East Boca Raton said. “At Chabad, the emphasis is on that particular community. Chabad is really a community without walls.”

    New said Chabad’s objectives are to “reach each and every Jew with a positive message.”

    “We don’t label people according to Movement,” he said. We look at every Jew as a Jew. We have unconditional love for every Jew.”

    Another reason, he noted, is that Chabad doesn’t require membership or dues.

    “You don’t have to have a ticket to attend services, and you don’t have to be a member,” he said. “This type of approach resonates with people. Our services are open to all people.”

    Rabbi Sholom Ciment of Chabad-Lubavitch of Greater Boynton Beach, said another reason Chabads are doing well is that “every single Jew” feels welcome and at home.

    “The Rebbe’s [Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson] philosophy of focusing entirely on spreading light, love [and] inspiration without divide or question, is a winning formula that can and should be employed,” Ciment said.

    “The cases of a Chabad center closing due to financial circumstances are very rare indeed,” he said. “The Rebbe taught us never to give up.”

    Rabbi Yisroel Spalter of Chabad of Weston said it’s “not a secret” that mainstream synagogues are faltering.

    “If you teach a watered-down Judaism, that’s what you get. At the end of the day, people want an authentic Judaism,” he said. What people are looking for in a synagogue is someone who really cares for you,” he said.

    Spalter said the two most important reasons Chabad continues to grow is, “authentic Judaism as it was observed thousands of years ago, and a love of Jews.”

    However, Rabbi Eliot Pearlson of Temple Menorah in Miami Beach, a Conservative synagogue said “not all Chabads are doing well. You hear about the Chabad successes — not the failures.”

    He cites “three main reasons” why Orthodoxy “in general” is growing: birthrate, outreach and retention.

    “Orthodox synagogues do better because of the nature of the community. In the Orthodox world a synagogue of 150 families will have 200 men on Sabbath mornings. Attendance in Orthodox communities is not a ‘good deed,’ but rather ‘prayer with a minyan’ is a commandment.”

    A Conservative synagogue with 150 families might need to count women to assure a minyan, he said. Attendance is viewed not as mandatory, but rather a cultural and social act of commitment.

    “I think that in the last 20 years as Conservative synagogues tended toward the liberalization of Jewish observance, it became harder for lay people to differentiate between Reform and Conservative communities,” Pearlson said. “One can enter a Conservative synagogue and find a woman rabbi, woman cantor, read one-third of the weekly Torah portion (called the Triennial Reading), count woman in the minyan, give woman aliyot to the Torah and even have musical instruments on the Sabbath and High Holidays.

    Moreover, Pearlson noted that in the last 20 years Reform synagogues have increased their level of traditional prayers, rituals and observance.

    “Wherein, originally, the Reform movement didn’t allow certain traditional rituals, now routinely they wear yarmulkes, talltot, have prayer books in both Hebrew and English, and espouse Zionistic ideals,” he said.

    “To the untrained eye, it is difficult to differentiate between the nuances of the liberal branches of Judaism,” he said. “Therefore Conservative synagogues are diminishing in attendance and strength.”

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    1. All very lovely but we DO label people because if your mother isn’t Jewish kehalocho or you converted kehalocho, which applies to many American non-Orthodox Jews, we consider you a goy. The shluchim conveniently miss that part out, it’s one of the biggest issues for the american jewish community. We DO label you – Jew or goy!

      motti
    2. As a Chabadnik we welcome all humans to our Shuls. But each has a role to play. Since Torah is eternal not yours or my opinion, it decides the roles. It has endured for over 3000 years.

      Akiva S.
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  • Event Calendar

  • Tuesday, Oct 27th, Wedding – Shlome Wolvovsky – CH & Rochel Leah Matusof – Madison, WI @ Oholei Torah
  • Thursday Oct 29th Wedding: Devorah Bennish – Detroit & Mordechai Rubin – London @ Royalty House, MI
  • Sunday, Oct 25th, Sholli Miller – Chicago, IL & Batya Korf – Miami Beach, FL @ Bais Rivka 310 Crown Street
  • Thursday, Oct 22 Wedding: Chaim Boruch Bar-Chaim – CH & Shoshana Pimentelli – CH/TX @ Oholei Torah
  • Thursday, Oct 22 L’Chaim: Sruli Finck – CH & Chaya Mangel – Dayton, OH @ Chovevei Torah 885 Eastern Parkway
  • Tuesday, Oct 20th Wedding: Dovid Kaminetzky – Melbourne, AU & Chaya Okunov – Crown Heights @ Oholei Torah
  • Monday Oct 19 L’Chaim: Ari (Aaron) Levertov – Crown Heights & Debby Rabinowicz – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Choivevey Torah
  • Monday, Oct 19 2015 Wedding: Mendy Zippel – Salt Lake City, UT & Fraidy Shagalov – Crown Heights @ Oholei Torah
  • Sunday 18th Oct. L’Chaim: Chananya Niassoff – CH & Tzirl Brennan – CH @ Bais Rivkah Crown St
  • Sunday Oct 18th – Wedding: Mendy Edelman – Crown Heights & Sara Lozenik – Miami, FL @ Oholei Torah
  • Tehilim

  • Dov Chaim Ben Rivkah
  • Tzvi Hirsch Ben Guttel
  • Charna Alexandra bas Chana Esther
  • Ettie Bas Alte Miriam
  • Zissel Yehudis Bas Masha
  • Chaim Yosef Yitzchok Ben Sarah Elka
  • Devorah Bas Sarah
  • Boruch Ben Sarah
  • DovBer Ben Dina
  • Sender Ben Chaya Devorah
  • Lost and Found

  • Lost Men’s Heavy Black Winter Jacket Size Large in 770
  • Lost in 770 before Pesach, a black Bradley Jons long coat size 38R. No lining and no belt. Almost brand new! Please call zalman at 347-788-0749
  • Found black hats outside 770, behind the Hatzalah ambulance
  • lost – Chitas bearing a blessing to Shmuel from Sarge. (Sargent Zvi Fisher z..l.v) geulanow@012.net.il or +1-7869427070
  • LOST: in 770 a black Lenovo Intel core i5 laptop in a dark grey laptop bad together with a WD hard drive, if found please call Zalmy 347-788-0749
  • Found: Maroon Chitas
  • Found: Bag of Clothes
  • Found: Leather-Bound Pink Siddur
  • Lost: Box with Mini Shas from YSP
  • Lost: Rose Gold Bangle/Bracelet
  • Classifieds

  • Cook position for a local Mosad
  • Looking for a cook/kitchen manager
  • Administrator for a local Mosad Experience a must, and preferbiligual a bonus poconosmountains@gmail.com
  • Looking for a cook/kitchen manager Experience a must. poconosmountains@gmail.com
  • ‘Beis Mosiach’s’ to give away for free
  • Private Rooms for Men
  • Newly renovated Basement for rent
  • Judaica Store in Crown Heights is Looking to Hire
  • Looking for Work? Opportunity available, for a quick & efficient typist in Williamsburg. For more info: 201-800-1774
  • Lost in 770 Last Week: Transparant Bag of Tefillin, Rashi, R”T, Chitas – in black/grey 770 pouches