So you are wondering about Chabad,
here are some FAQ's
Q:Do you have to be orthodox to participate in programs offered by Chabad?
A: Chabad is inclusive and non-judgmental, and our programs are open to all Jews. In fact, the large majority of people who participate in programs at Chabad are not orthodox. The teachings of Chabad 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 Chabad functions.
Q: Won't I feel out of place at Chabad ?
A: Everyone is welcome, central to Chabad teachings is the accpetance of every Jew at his/her level of observance.
Q: I don't know Hebrew, how can I follow the service?
A: Don't worry we will help you along, and on the holidays we insert English readings.
Q:Is it the goal of Chabad to make me orthodox?
A:No! Chabad is an educational organization dedicated to providing each Jew, regardless of background, affiliation, or personal level of observance, the opportunity to deepen their level of Jewish knowledge and invovlement. Chabad outstanding educational programs provide you the opportunity to expand your understanding of you Jewish Heitage in an open-minded and non-judgmental atmosphere.
Q:Does Chabad consider Reform, Conservative, or non-practicing Jews as full Jews?
A: Without question! Chabad disdains any labeling of Jews. ‘A Jew is a Jew is a Jew', and labels only divide and create barriers between us. Jewish Law has traditionally considered anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted in accordance with Jewish tradiiton to be a Jew, regardless of his or her degree of observance.
Q:What position do women hold in the Chabad community?
A: Just look at the Chabad women here in Orange County. Chabad Rebbizens take a leadership role in the operation of the Chabad Center. The high standing of Jewish women in the worldwide Chabad community is central to its success. 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 been used to turn many people away from an appreciation of Torah and a traditional Jewish lifestyle. Chabad is working hard to correct those misconceptions.
Q:Does Chabad accept converts?
A: Chabad follows traditional Jewish Law which states that any non-Jew who feels sincerely convinced of the beauty and relevance of Torah, who is prepared to follow the traditions of the Torah, and therefore, wishes to join the community of the Jewish people, is welcomed as a convert. The conversion process requires immersion in a kosher mikvah, circumcision for men, and most importantly, acceptance of Judaism observance.
Q:Does Chabad support Israel?
A: Chabad is deeply involved in defending Israel and its right to exist, throughout all its boundaries. Many Chabad students serve in the IDF and others contribute practical and spiritual support to the troops. Chabad has over 500 institutions in Israel, as well as dozens of educational facilities around the country. Lubavitch-trained Rabbis often complete their training is Israeli yeshivot. Chabad is the largest provider of Birthright trips for college students to Israel. While individuals involved in the Chabad community exercise their right to vote Chabad does not have a political party in Israel, nor is it involved in politics.
Q:Are the Chabad Centers financed by Chabad headquarters in New York ?
A: It is Chabad policy that each center is supported by the community it serves. All funding for local Chabad programs is solicited locally. All funds donated remain right here in our community. We do pay fees for programs provided to us from New York such as this web site and the Jewish Learning Institute.
Q: Are you supported by the Chabad Telethon?
A: Those funds are used primarily for the educational, social service and outreach programs of Chabad in the LA area. We have received occasional grants for special projects. We raise all of our regular operational budget in Orange County. Each Chabad Center is supported by its community.
Q: How many Chabad Centers are in Orange County ?
A: It all started with the Hebrw Academy in Huntington Beach, from that base 15 centers have been opened all over the community.
Q: How broad is the scope of Chabad's work worldwide?
A: Chabad today is the largest Jewish organization in the world. There are centers in 75 counties.