Lubavitch of Wisconsin

This profile was last updated in 2002

History

In 1968, following the directives of the Rebbe Shlita, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement came to Milwaukee and brought with it an extraordinary Jewish renaissance of the community. Starting from a tiny apartment on the west side of Milwaukee, Lubavitch of Wisconsin has grown to become a beacon for Jews from all over the state. Its pioneering programs of education and outreach, many barely recognized as Lubavitch in origin, are now standard features of the fabric of Jewish life in Milwaukee. By serving as an invaluable resource of information, education, and support for the Russian Jewish immigrant population in the area, Lubavitch also serves as the role model for the idea of “Klal Yisroel” by building bridges of understanding and unity between different segments of the the Jewish religious and secular communities in Wisconsin.

Demographics

Lubavitch of Wisconsin serves the needs of about 2,000 families regularly, and their newsletters reach about 12,000 Jews across the state. The majority of the community in Milwaukee speak English, Russian, Yiddish or Hebrew, and services are held in either English or Hebrew depending on the majority language of the congregation.

Special Programs

Chabad-Lubavitch House
The Chabad-Lubavitch House serves as the nerve-center for Lubavitch of Wisconsin. Here, young people and families come to experience Shabbos where daily minyanim take place, holidays are celebrated, classes take place, mikveh rituals observed, and an extensive Judaic library is open to the community. It is also home base for Camp Gan Israel in the summer.

Jewish REACH
The Russian Education Aid Center serves Jewish families from the former Soviet Union with family counseling, summer camp, classes, bar mitzvahs and brit milah. Materials are provided in Russian and 90 people participate in classes in English as a second language. A Jewish-Russian library and a Teen Drop-In Center are also part of the program.
Children’s Lubavitch Living and Learning Center
Considered the finest Jewish pre-school in Wisconsin, it synthesizes Jewish and secular curricula into a dynamic program involving the whole family in an appreciation of the beauty of Jewish life.
Chabad of Madison
Founded by Lubavitch of Milwaukee, it serves the Jewish student body at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students can find an oasis of calm amid the conflicting lifestyles that compete for their attention on campus. In an atmosphere of Jewish affirmation, friendship and support, they discover their Jewish roots.
Chabad of North Shore
An independent organization founded to serve the needs of the Mequon community in Wisconsin. It provides full service shul with a minyan, classes, Shabbos and holiday services and a center for Jewish activities.
Chabad of Downtown
Offers businesspeople in downtown Milwaukee the opportunity to participate in Torah classes and catch a Kosher lunch throughout the day.
Mikveh Israel
The finest mikveh in Milwaukee, used by many individuals from all across the community. Its beauty enhances the observance of mikveh.

Publications

Celebration
A magazine published five times a year; discusses Jewish holidays.

What Is the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement?

Chabad-Lubavitch is a philosophy, a movement, and an organization, considered to be a dynamic force in Jewish life today.

The word “Chabad” is a Hebrew acronym for the three intellectual faculties of: chachmah-wisdom, binah-comprehension and da’at-knowledge. The movement’s system of Jewish religious philosophy, the deepest dimension of G-d’s Torah, teaches understanding and recognition of the Creator, the role and purpose of Creation, and the importance and unique mission of each Creature. This philosophy guides a person to refine and govern his and her every act and feeling through wisdom, comprehension and knowledge.
The word “Lubavitch” is the name of the town in White Russia where the movement was based for more than a century. Appropriately, the word Lubavitch in Russian means the “city of brotherly love.” The name Lubavitch conveys the essence of the responsibility and love engendered by the Chabad philosophy toward every single Jew.
Following its inception 250 years ago, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement swept through Russia and spread in surrounding countries as well. It provided scholars with answers that eluded them and simple farmers with a love that had been denied of them. Eventually the philosophy of Chabad-Lubavitch and its adherents reached almost every corner of the world and affected almost every facet of Jewish life.
Worldwide, there are about 4,000 rebbes who, with their families, apply the 250 year-old principles and philosophy of Chabad-Lubavitch to direct more than 2,700 institutions (including Lubavitch of Wisconsin and its many programs) dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people worldwide.