Understanding Chabad’s Success with Millennials

June 8, 2016

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


A recent survey conducted by the Jewish Federation of Miami, found that in 2014 about one in four Jewish households in the Miami area participated in Chabad-Lubavitch programming. But truly groundbreaking was the breakdown by age group: 36 percent of families ages 35-47 and nearly half (47 percent) of families age 35 and younger engaged with Chabad programs.

Over the past ten years, 71 Chabad shluchim (emissary couples or families) have established communities around the world catering exclusively to young adults (ages 25-39); of those, 55 have been established just in the past two years. Data collected from just 25 of these locations, over the past 12 months, has so far revealed impressive statistics: 108 Jewish weddings, 408 Jewish holiday and Shabbat experiences with more than 24,000 attendees, over 5000 Torah classes and discussions.

What is driving this?

This love for every Jew is the reason we strive to be there for another Jew in any way we can – materially or spiritually.

Chabad is known for its Jewish outreach efforts. Some say that what motivates these efforts is a desire to ensure Jewish continuity, to strengthen commitment to Jewish tradition and values, or to grow the Jewish community as a whole.

But the motivation is deeper than that. We share the beauty of Judaism with other Jews because that is a natural expression of love. A person shares what is important to them with whom they love. We know that Judaism is a gift, helps us connect to the Almighty through growing and striving, exhilarates our mind and electrifies our soul – how can we not share it?

This approach may sound simplistic, but its simplicity is what makes it so inspiring – and successful. It isn’t data-driven or fiscally beholden. We aren’t looking for watersheds, benchmarks, or tipping points. It’s not about the “next generation” or the “Jewish future.” It is about reaching one Jew and igniting one soul, even for one moment.

And, along the way, watersheds and benchmarks are quietly surpassed. The imperatives of the Jewish nation are met, and Jewish continuity is ensured.

Read more at eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Jun. 22, 2016