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Q: What is Lubavitch?
A: Lubavitch of Doylestown is one of more than 3,300 branches of today's largest international organization involved with Jewish education and outreach programs.
Chabad and Lubavitch are in fact synonomous terms referrring to the same organization. Embracing the philosophy of the Chabad Lubavitch Movement, which originated in the town of Lubavitch in White Russia during the 18th century, Lubavitch's underlying doctrine is "Ahavat Yisrael" (love for a fellow Jew). Lubavitch recognizes no differences between Jews; its goal is to serve the spiritual and physical needs of each Jew regardless of affiliation, wherever he or she may be, with understanding and with love.
By means of a rare combination that blends traditional Judaism with modern day techniques, Lubavitch has found the formula to develop a rapport with the most alienated of Jews and to enhance their outlook. By arousing an intellectual and/or emotional interest in our faith, Lubavitch has become the catalyst to connect Jews with their Jewish roots and revive the sparks of Jewish consciousness in the hearts and minds of each Jew.
There are no prerequisites for getting involved with Lubavitch, whether you are affiliated or not, have much Jewish background or none, you are always welcome to try one or all of our programs. We are here to serve you and we will do our best to help you and your family. You do not have to be a member at Lubavitch, you do not even have to agree with everything Lubavitch says or does - you just have to be Jewish - and you automatically belong.
Q: Do you have to be Orthodox to participate in programs offered by Lubavitch?
A: Lubavitch is inclusive and non-judgmental, and our programs are open to all Jews. In fact, the majority of people who participate in programs at Lubavitch are not Orthodox. The teachings of Lubavitch 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 Lubavitch functions.
Q: Is the goal of Lubavitch to make me Orthodox?
A: Lubavitch is not out to make one Orthodox. Lubavitch 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. Lubavitch invites you to explore the complex areas of Jewish religion, tradition, and practice in an open-minded and non-judgmental atmosphere. All of Lubavitch’s classes, programs, and services are designed to heighten the awareness and lend valuable insight into one's heritage, traditions, religious practice, laws and rituals. Each individual is invited to participate, study, and learn. 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 ones personal growth.
Q: Is the Lubavitch of Doylestown financed by its headquarters in New York?
A: It is Lubavitch policy that each center is supported by the community it serves. All funding for local Lubavitch programs is solicited locally. No funds are received from Lubavitch World Headquarters nor are any locally raised funds sent to Lubavitch World Headquarters in New York. All funds donated remain right here in our community.
Q: Does Lubavitch consider Reform, Conservative, or non-practicing Jews as "real" Jews?
A: A Jew is a Jew is a Jew – period. Lubavitch avoids labeling other Jews, since it tends to divide and create barriers between us. Jewish Law has traditionally considered anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted in accordance with Halacha to be a Jew, regardless of his or her degree of observance. We have one Torah, we are one People, and we have one G-d. Lubavitch endeavors to bring unity among the Jewish community through our common bond of Jewish faith and observance.
Q: Does Lubavitch support Israel?
A: Lubavitch is deeply involved in defending Israel and its right to exist, throughout all its boundaries. Many Lubavitchers serve in the IDF and others contribute practical and spiritual support to the troops. Lubavitch has over 200 centers in Israel, as well as dozens of educational facilities around the country. Lubavitch trained Rabbis often complete their training is Israeli yeshivot. The Rebbe himself encouraged support of the UJA.
Q: Do women occupy a secondary position in Lubavitch philosophy?
A: Secondary? No! The high standing of Jewish women in Lubavitch 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. Lubavitch is working to correct those misconceptions.