The Rebbe As Innovator


The Lubavitcher Rebbe has not been with us physically for 20 years. But his message of love, of areivut (serving as a guarantor for other Jews), of love of God and His people, of never judging fellow Jews and valuing their tiniest actions and steps, continue in perpetuity. (“Twenty Years After, Rebbe Still Inspires,” June 27)

The “Ten Mitzvah” campaign — comprised of Shabbat candle-lighting, tefillin, mezuzot, Torah study, giving tzedakah, having Jewish books in one’s home, keeping kosher, loving one’s fellow, Jewish education for children and family purity for married couples — demonstrates how the Rebbe was truly ahead of his time by establishing a curriculum to educate unlettered Jews with the fundamentals of Jewish life. Having served as a Beginners Rabbi for almost 40 years, I, too, have learned the importance of teaching the basics.

When we established National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP) in 1987, we used the Rebbe’s model to create a course for the “whys” and “whats” of Judaism. The course provided Jewishly-illiterate American Jews with the basics about God, Prayer, Shabbat, Jewish observance and marital intimacy.

With God’s help, over 80,000 American Jews have already taken the Basic Judaism Crash Course. To date, 809 Chabad centers and shluchim of the Rebbe in eight countries and 46 states have partnered with NJOP on our campaigns such as Read Hebrew America, Shabbat Across America and other acclaimed NJOP programs.

May all of us who seek to bring our lost brothers and sisters home find success in emulating the Rebbe’s inspired life actions and teachings.

Director, NJOP, the National Jewish Outreach Program