What is ‘CHABAD’?
CHABAD-LUBAVITCH is a branch and movement within Hasidic Judaism. Founded in the late 1800s, it offered a revolutionary approach to Judaism.
‘Chabad’ is a Hebrew acronym, which stands for 1) Chochma, 2) Bina and 3) Da’at. Which translates to 1) Wisdom, 2) Knowledge and 3) Understanding. The philosophy is that through rigorous intellectual toiling, one can use their cognitive faculties to influence and shape their emotions. Ultimately, it’s through properly understanding one’s Judaism that will hopefully bring positive feelings for it.
‘Lubavitch’ is the City in which it was centered for most of its early history. But the name says more than anything. In Russian it means, “City of Love.” And Lubavitch is all about unconditional and accepting love.
Modern Day Chabad
The origin of today's Chabad-Lubavitch organization can be traced to the early 1940s when the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), appointed his son-in-law and later successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, to head the newly-founded educational and social service arms of the movement.
Motivated by his profound love for every Jew and spurred by his boundless optimism and self-sacrifice, the Rebbe set into motion a dazzling array of programs, services, and institutions to serve every Jew.
Today over 4,000 full-time emissary families apply 250-year-old principles and philosophy, to direct more than 3,000 institutions in over 100 countries, dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people worldwide.
Chabad on Campus
In the early 1950s, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of blessed memory, began sending rabbinical students to campuses to serve as a resource for students. Since the 1960s, Chabad campus centers open their doors to every Jewish student regardless of background or observance level. Programming always reflects tolerant, non-judgmental and open discussions, which is the hallmark of Chabad's inclusiveness. A unique quality of Chabad's campus centers is the leadership provided by a dynamic couple who create an atmosphere where students can feel safe and seek guidance on variety of social, education and spiritual issues.
Today, full-service Chabad Jewish student centers are found on over 256 campuses worldwide, and Chabad-Lubavitch serves hundreds of other campuses with Jewish resources.
Off campus, Chabad on Campus International hosts national Shabbat retreats with hundreds of students from dozens of colleges. Leadership training is highly valued by Chabad, and during the summertime hiatus, Chabad hosts a convention of campus representatives to strengthen leadership skills, share outreach strategies and prepare the next year's programming.