Chabad in Trouble?
Writing in The Jerusalem Post, former Chabad emissary turned media personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach expresses concern for the current state of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement:
Chabad is by now the most effective Jewish educational organization in history, and no movement works harder for the Jewish people or caters to more unaffiliated Jews.
But success has brought the usual challenges. Chabad emissaries are becoming more ego-driven and territorial, too often bickering with one another. A seemingly incessant spate of court battles should serve as a wake-up call.
In Crown Heights, the official Chabad leadership seems engaged in permanent litigation with — mostly — Chabad messianic forces, for the soul of Lubavitch. Nearly all of it takes place in mainstream rather than Jewish courts, making them highly public affairs.
In London, an ugly public battle ousted one of the heads of Chabad UK of the past half-century. Sydney, Australia witnessed another ugly public battle for the control of Chabad institutions.
These are just a few examples. The press has reported on many more in places as far away as Russia, Ukraine and Israel.
Chabad is facing unique challenges. A growing number of Chabad youth are leaving the fold. The Chabad dating scene is beginning to exhibit some of the shallow mores of the secular culture, with money and looks playing a not-insignificant role. And gratuitous bickering among some in its leadership are undermining the morale of the young future emissaries they are meant to inspire.
“All of this can be reversed,” he explains. “But not if it isn’t discussed.”
Read the full article here.