Study and prayer is important, but when a person is in need of help, one must stop thinking and act. This approach has characterized Chabad-Lubavitch from its beginnings.
The first Chabad-Lubavitch crisis intervention efforts can be traced to the late 1700s, when Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad-Lubavitch, actively urged Jewish communities in Europe to support impoverished communities in the land of Israel. He sent desperately needed financial support and encouraged many people to move to the Holy Land. In 1814 Chabad-Lubavitch led the reconstruction of the Jewish communities in White Russia that had been devastated by Napoleon’s war.
In the United States, Chabad-Lubavitch was actively involved in rescuing Jews from Europe, and in 1945, established a relief office for refugees in Paris, and initiated efforts to improve the welfare of Jewish farmers in rural America. Upon assuming leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch in 1950, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, greatly expanded Chabad-Lubavitch’s community activism and social services.
Now, through its over 4,000 international centers, Chabad-Lubavitch offers counseling services, hospital and prison chaplaincy, shelters and assistance for the homeless, free loan associations, burial assistance, free public seders, free Shabbat and holiday meals, hospitality services, soup kitchens, drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation, and other social services.
To this end, Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries undergo preparation and training in counseling and crisis intervention. Every Chabad-Lubavitch emissary has an open heart and open home for those in need, available to the community and eager and willing to help.
• Established in 1774, Chabad-Lubavitch is one of the oldest charities and social services organizations in the world today.
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