The Organization of Lubavitch Synagogues
A Different Jewish Congregation
who inspects the website of a Chabad congregation must notice that, unlike all
other Jewish congregations, the names of the officers and the Board of Trustees
means that either there are no officers and no Board of Trustees, or that such
positions are of no importance to the Chabad movement.
consequence of this arrangement is that there is no need for anyone attending
and participating in the Chabad movement to seek an office or to become involved
in synagogue politics with a view of getting elected to this or that.
the kinds of jealousies and political maneuvers that are so common in our
congregations donít exist among the Chabad followers. This ensures that there
is no elitism and no need to create the kind of oligarchy that is present in
almost all voluntary organizations except those that simply have no structure,
making synagogue politics possible.
example, it is common to see synagogue politicians climb the ladder of offices
until they reach the presidency and then never to appear in that congregation
again after the conclusion of the term of office. This demonstrates an utter
lack of interest in the congregation.
visiting Chabad Shabbat services, I was astonished that I was greeted and
welcomed, although I was a stranger.
This is most exceptional, since normally newcomers and/or strangers are ignored
in our congregations, leaving the impression that only a limited in crowd is
the Chabad movement practices Torah true Judaism, sometimes also called Orthodox
Judaism, the rabbi and others emphasize that all Jews are welcome even if they
are nonpracticing or ignorant of the Hebrew language, the ritual, and the
fundamental beliefs of the congregation.
congregations have no hierarchy. The membership and even visitors are all
treated the same, and no effort is made to feature important people while
ignoring unimportant people. Evidently it is the dictum of the movement that all
are of equal importance to God, and that therefore the distinctions common in
our congregations are spurious.
we Jews are so divided among ourselves, it is unlikely that we will ever agree
on only one Jewish practice or one manner of conducting our religious
obligations. Nevertheless, it would serve all of us well to learn from the above
example that we donít need officers, boards of trustees, important people, and
consequently unimportant people, but that we might instead remember that all
that is required of us is Ēthat you shall walk
humbly with your God and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.Ē