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January 10, 1986 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-01-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, January 10, 1986 27

aturday.
11
7Seilerm J 10 anuary
a.m. • 5 p.m.

social welfare agencies. .
There are at present more than 100
Chabad Houses in Israel, another 100 in
the United States, serving all 50 states,
and 50 more around the world— in Italy,
Switzerland, South Africa, Chile, Argen-
tina, England, France, Australia, Tunisia,
Scotland, Morocco, Venezuela, Uruguay,
Holland, Brazil and Belgium. Chabad
emissaries have also been sent on special
missions to Egypt, Japan, Panama, India,
Burma, Afghanistan and the Phillipines.
There is, beyond that, a vast educational
system which includes 35 yeshivot in the
United States and another 175 in other
countries, day schools in most major cities
here and abroad, camps serving 35,000
kids each summer and the largest Jewish
publishing house in the world.
There is a Lubavitch Women's Organi-
zation, a Lubavitch Youth Organization,
an entire Lubavitch city just outside Tel
Aviv and Machne Israel, an organization
which provides social services. And under
each of those umbrellas, there are innumer-
able programs which manifest themselves
in things like erecting Chanukah menorahs
in the center ofmajor cities and in a fleet
of hundreds of converted campers called
Mitzvah Tanks which roam the streets of

,

Jewish areas urging boys and men to put
on Tfillin, girls and women to light Shab-

bat candles. There are organized cam-
paigns to observe the Laws of Family Puri-
ty and kashrut, programs for the Jewish
elderly, for Jewish prisoners and for
Jewish patients in hospitals. There are lec-
tures, weekend retreats, portable sukkahs,
matzah packages for Passover, radio pro-

"There is no substitute
for sincerity. We are
taught to be friendly,
to show love, compas•
sion, to not be holier
than thou."

grams, tapes, dozens of magazines, hun-
dreds of pamphlets. There are even broad-
casts of the Rebbe delivering his message
to the faithful shown over cable TV in the
United States and by satellite around the
world.
Total yearly budget: $50 million.
It is, said Rabbi Krinsky, "enormously
far-reaching, deeply penetrating. It is
blanket coverage of the Jewish world.
Nobody does it better."
Rabbi Yitz Greenberg agrees with that,
saying, "In the last 10 years, no group has
been more imaginative and interesting.
The Lubavitchers have been the most live-
ly and original in effecting a visible Jewish
presence in ways that call attention to
Jewishness. They've shown the most crea-

tivity in outreach through media and visi-
ble programs."
The problem, says Greenberg, president
of the National Jewish Center for Leader-
ship and Learning, is thaf all.that success
has gone to Lubavitch's head.
"When I heard that the Lubavitch
budget is $50 million, I was stunned It
shows they're not just nice guys, but a
powerhouse. The problem is that as
they've become more powerful, they've
pushed their weight around more."
That's shown itself in what Greenberg,
an Orthodox rabbi, calls a number of "po-
larizing acts." Things like dosing mikvahs -
to Conservative and Reform Jews in Los
Angeles, and other cities; playing an "im-
portant role in the disturbing trend of Or-
thodoxy moving too far to the , right" by
insisting on stricter standards of kashrut
supervision; opening their own day schools
in communitieswith already existing ones;
seceding from Orthodox organizations and
pressuring• non-Orthodox ones.
"Their appeal is'on the basis of reaching
out to all Jews, but they've been behav-
ing differently. Their unchecked success
has led them to overplay their hand.
They've lost their balance and perspective.
They think they have the truth and so find
it hard'to accept criticism and are very
reluctant to work with others."
"There is a lot' of chauvinism there,"
agrees Rabbi Joseph Schechter, spiritual
leader of the Rogers Avenue Synagogue in
Baltimore. "They believe everything ends
and begins with them. They have never
learned to cooperate with other groups.
They feel there is no one else with whom
to work."
Rabbi Krinsky denies Lubayitch doesn't
work with other groups, though he admits
they are very selective. He said Lubavitch
cooperates with groups "whose positions
we can back. On that we are rooted, not
flexible." He.also said it often appeari that
Lubavitch works alone because "we work
in areas others don't tread."
Rabbi Michael Balinsky, however, isn't
so sure about that. A Chabad House
recently opened near the campus of North-
western University in Chicago where
Balinsky,.who is Orthodox, is Hillel direc-
tor. And, he said, he's been experiencing
much of what many of his fellow Hillel
directors across the country have told him
they've gone through. '
"Though we told the Chabad House the
date we had scheduled our Chanukah par-
ty for, they went ahead and scheduled
theirs for the same night. And though we
already had a minyan, they started their
own. They come on campus and don't
seem to care what existed before. They
have a real belief that what they are do-
ing is right and don't seem to care what
they trample on along the way as long as
they create the things they think are right.
They have no concept of a larger Jewish
community."

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Continued on next pag e

le

Oita I Ilifoll L

Orchard Lake Rd. South of Ma • le - West Bloomfield

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