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January 10, 1986 - Image 28

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

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

28 Friday, January 10, 1986



Continued from preceding page

While. Balinsky Said he applauds
Lubavitch's outreach work and says it's
too early to tell what effect- they will have
on his campus, he said-he is bothered by
their fund-raising material which, he said,
"is greatly exaggerated. "So far, their in-
fluence has been minimal, if not somewhat
Effective fund-raising letters are but a
part of what Rabbi Schechter calls a "good
PR organization." But he, too, wonders if
Lubavitch can back up all the claims they
make. "Yes, they've gotten people to re-
turn to Judaism and made the community
conscious of certain important facts of
Jewish life. But the Rosh HaYeshiva of
Ner Israel in Baltimore has also done a lot
to spread Orthodox Judaism in this coun-
try. I'm not sure how much the Lubavit-
chers have really done."
"They offer a lifestyle that is a drastic
break with the modern world as the only
way out," said Rabbi Greenberg. "Of
those they reach, maybe five percent —
those who marry into the community —
accept that. The vast bulk don't."
In fact, when it comes to results, said
Rabbi Alexander Schindler, Reform Juda•
ism is doing much better than Lubavitch.
Schindler, president of the Union of
American Hebrew Congregations, the um-
brella organization for Reform congrega-
tions, noted that Reform is "now the
fastest-growing movement on the Ameri-
can Jewish scene. We've grown by 25 per-
cent in the last decade alone." He at-
tributes that to efforts it's done and
Lubavitch hasn't, especially reaching out
to the intermarried and providing full par-
ticipation for women in religious
observance. •
Rabbi Krinsky said he can't get into a
numbers game because "ire have no mem-
bership requirements so it's impossible to
compute." He noted, however, that more
than four million people have signed up to
buy a letter in one of the Torah scrolls
Lubavitch has been writing as part of one
of the Rebbe's campaigns. Also, he said,
Lubavitch was the first to encourage the
growing number of baalei tshuvah
(returnees to Judaism) and said . the
Rebbe's TV appearances have brought his
message to an auclience-of millions of Jews
and non-Jews.
In all, said Rabbi Krinsky, "an incalcu-
lable numbernf Jews look to Lubavitch for
direction and are sympathetic to and sup-
portive of Lubavitch. There are probably
hundreds of thousands of Jews who have
taken part in our work and hundreds of
thousands more who are silent sup-
Ardie Geldman became a supporter of
Lubavitch because, he said, "they were
there when I needed them." Geldman, who
now lives in Israel, first encountered
Lubavitch when his father died. "I had to
say kaddish, so I went to shul. I met the
'rabbi - and was taken by Lubavitch's





Boy in Lubavitch's "Army
of C441" uniform studies in
Brooklyn yeshiva.

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