FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
What is Chabad?
Chabad is a worldwide Chassidic movement that spreads Jewish awareness to all Jews, helping Jews be Jewish. Its roots are in White Russia, in a small town named Lubavitch. The word Chabad is an acronym for chachmah (wisdom), binah (understanding), and da'at (knowledge). Chabad Houses are found in every part of the world. Chabad offers a sense of community; a connection to Jewish heritage; learning and inspiration; spiritual fulfillment and guidance to all Jews – young and old, observant or not, affiliated and non-affiliated.
Does Chabad support Israel?
Chabad is deeply involved in defending Israel and its right to exist. Many "Chabadniks" serve in the Israeli Defense Forces; others contribute practical and spiritual support to the troops. Chabad has over 150 centers in Israel, including dozens of educational facilities around the country.
Do I have to be religious to attend Chabad?
Absolutely not. Chabad is a place for all Jews, regardless of their background, education, affiliation, or level of observance. Chabad is inclusive and non-judgmental, and our programs are open to all Jews. Many people who come to Chabad are not religious, and some have little, if any, Jewish education. If you're Jewish, you are welcome at Chabad!
What happens if I don't know what to do?
Don't worry. Others alongside you are learning, too. Since you have to start sometime and somewhere, there's no better place than now and with Chabad. There is always someone ready, willing, able, and eager to help you in any way possible!
Will Chabad try to make me Orthodox?
Of course not. Chabad is not out to make anyone Orthodox. Our hope is to increase your enthusiasm for our Jewish heritage and your commitment to it. We invite you to explore our religion, tradition, and practices in an open-minded and non-judgmental atmosphere.
Do women occupy a secondary position in Chabad philosophy?
Not at all. The high standing of Jewish women in Chabad is central to the survival of Judaism. Women are the cornerstone of Jewish family life. Ignorance, misconceptions, and outright myths about Jewish women have turned many people away from an appreciation of Torah and a traditional Jewish lifestyle. Chabad is working to correct these misconceptions.
Does Chabad accept Reform, Conservative, or non-practicing Jews?
Certainly! Chabad avoids labeling Jews, since it tends to create barriers between us. Under Jewish Law, anyone born of a Jewish mother, or converted in accordance with Halacha (Jewish Law), is a Jew, regardless of his or her level of observance.
How is Chabad financed?
It is Chabad policy that each center throughout the world be supported by donations from the community it serves. All funding for Chabad programs is solicited locally, and all donations received remain with the local center. Therefore, all funds donated to Chabad of Patchogue remain right here in our community.
How much does it cost?
Nothing! We have no membership dues. Feel free to join us for services on Shabbat or any holiday, and stay for the Kiddush that follows (the food is delicious!). Or come to our adult education courses or to our holiday programs.
How do I join?
No formal procedure is required to join us at Chabad. There is no application to fill out. You don't even have to call first. Just come! And bring your Jewish friends!