Myths & Facts


Is what you think about Chabad MYTH or FACT?


You may be surprised. Take a few minutes to browse through this page and you'll have a better understanding of what Chabad is all about.


1. MYTH:

You need to be Orthodox to participate in programs offered by Chabad.



Chabad is inclusive and non-judgmental, and their programs are open to all Jews. In fact, the overwhelming 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 or participation in Chabad functions.

In Boise, the people that attend Chabad events and programs are a diverse mix of Jews and non-Jews, learned and unlearned, old and young - from all walks of life.  We don't like to label people. Nor do we believe that your political persuasion, social status, or bank account matter.

Every Jew and their families are welcome. Period.

That's what you can expect at Chabad. 


2. MYTH:

Chabad's goal is to make me Orthodox.



Chabad is not out to make one Orthodox. Chabad 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. Chabad invites you to explore the complex areas of Jewish religion, tradition, and practice in an open-minded and non-judgmental atmosphere. All of Chabad'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.

Don't believe it? Ask those that attend Chabad. Or, come observe the participants and programs. The facts speak for themselves. 


3. MYTH:

Chabad does not consider Reform, Conservative, or non-practicing Jews as "real" Jews.



Chabad 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. The Lubavitcher Rebbe delivered a stinging rebuke to Orthodox elements in the USA and Israel for publicly belittling non-Orthodox Jews.


4. MYTH:

Chabad does not accept converts.



Chabad follows traditional Jewish Law (Halacha) 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 Israel, and therefore, wishes to join the community of Israel, is welcomed as a convert. The conversion process requires immersion in a kosher mikvah, circumcision for men, and acceptance of the disciplines and practices of Judaism - all under authorized rabbinic supervision.

Chabad in Boise does not offer in-house conversions because there is no Beit Din in Idaho. But, Chabad does accept valid halachic conversions.


5. MYTH:

Chabad does not support the Israel.



Chabad, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe in particular, strongly supports Israel and is deeply involved in defending its value and right to exist. Many Chabadniks serve in the IDF and others contribute practical and spiritual support to the troops. Chabad has over 150 centers in Israel, as well as dozens of educational facilities around the country. Lubavitch trained Rabbis often complete their training in Israeli yeshivot.

Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz studied in Israel and received his ordination in Israel (as well as New York).

Chabad sees its support of Israel as part and parcel of Judaism and Jewish peoplehood. Chabad is an apolitical movement and does not get involved in Israeli politics. 


6. MYTH:

Women occupy a secondary position in Chabad philosophy.



Different, yes. Secondary? No! The high standing of Jewish women in Chabad 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. Chabad is working to correct those misconceptions. The Lubavitcher Rebbe was a groundbreaking pioneer in advancing the role of the Jewish woman.

In our local community, Mrs. Esther Lifshitz serves as co-Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho. Mother, Rebbetzin, Hebrew School Director,  Mommy & Me Director, Caterer, Fundraiser, Counselor, Director of Strategy, and Friend are some of the titles she carries with pride.


7. MYTH:

Chabad is financed by its headquarters in New York.



It is Chabad policy that each center is supported by the community it serves. All funding for local Chabad programs is solicited by the local center. No money is sent to international Chabad headquarters in New York. All funds donated remain right here in our community. Neither are we funded or financially supported by our central headquarters.