Oct 4, 2013
Aish Director: I Am Chabad
Rabbi Nightingale (center) and his family

Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale of Aish South Florida responds to Pew's study on Jewish assimilation by stating he's Chabad.

Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale, Executive Director of Aish in South Florida since 1993 has send an article titled "I Am Chabad" to members of his community. He dedicated the Torah essay "in honor of my dear friend, R. Moishe Meir Lipszyc, Director of Chabad of Fort Lauderdale."

Here it is in full:

There is a lot of hand-wringing and distressed looks going on right now in the American Jewish world. According to a recent article making the rounds concerning the state of American Jewry by the Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project, things are looking pretty grim.

The intermarriage rate, a bellwether statistic, has reached a high of 58 percent for all Jews, and 71 percent for non-Orthodox Jews - a huge change from before 1970 when only 17 percent of Jews married outside the faith. Two-thirds of Jews do not belong to a synagogue, one-fourth do not believe in God and one-third had a Christmas tree in their home last year.


Now while I agree there are some very disturbing issues and trends in the Jewish world regarding unaffiliated Jews - Hey, this is what I do for a living! - I find this study somewhat skewed and almost worthless. Why? Because they left out Chabad. As the article goes on to say:

Reform Judaism remains the largest American Jewish movement, at 35 percent. Conservative Jews are 18 percent, Orthodox 10 percent, and groups such as Reconstructionist and Jewish Renewal make up 6 percent combined.

Whoa, hold on a second. I don't see any mention of Chabad in there. Chabad you ask? You betcha! According to the Union of Reform Judaism website, there are 875 Reform synagogues in the United States and Canada. But Rabbi Motti Seligson from Media Relations for Chabad.org told me that there are 959 Chabad centers (part of over 1500 Chabad institutions) just in the United States alone. That is more than the so-called strongest branch of Judaism in the USA.

And this is precisely why this study is practically meaningless. It is based on a completely outdated model and mentality and has totally ignored the most dynamic movement in Judaism in recent years.

Furthermore, the folks at Pew are using categories of Jews from the 50's and 60's that have almost wholly changed since then. To illustrate, let's talk about my niece who is in her first year at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She has attended Chabad for Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shabbat dinners in the little amount of time she has been in college.

Now, if they were to approach her for this survey, she wouldn't say she is Orthodox because she knows what that is and isn't there (yet). She certainly is not Reform because she has zero affiliation with that movement. She would probably call herself Conservative given these choices, but that would be bogus because she really does not go to a Conservative synagogue unless there is some sort of simcha/happy occasion like a Bar Mitzvah. However she does attend Chabad more than most Conservative or Reform members attend their respective synagogues and yet there is no Chabad option to check.

And then there is another point - the holy grail of membership. This is another completely meaningless factoid in defining Jewish affiliation in our day and age. Who cares if someone is a card-carrying member of a synagogue or not?! There are plenty of people who come to Aish regularly who are not official "members" to us or any synagogue.

Yet the simple reality is that these folks are more actively Jewish than many official "members" of synagogues who may show up once or twice a year for Kol Nidrei or a relative's Bar Mitzvah. Hence these people would be categorized as "just Jewish" which according to this survey implies failed Jew; hardly the truth.

Don't get me wrong, I am acutely aware that there are all kinds of challenges facing American and Western Jewry regarding intermarriage, assimilation and the like. But we need a balanced view to see the reality of the situation. And this report simply does not do that by the egregious omission of Chabad in particular and the Bal Teshuva movement in general whereby hundreds of thousands of Jews from all different backgrounds are exploring their Judaism and Jewish definition of themselves in countless ways. We are far from a blip and certainly should not have been outright ignored.

So for the vast number of Jews who are on different levels and paths in their own personal journey of what it means to be Jewish and who go to Chabad for Sukkot or log onto aish.com or defend Israel through AIPAC or have made the commitment not to eat shell-fish - for those Jews perhaps we need to smash some old paradigms and need a new category of Jew.

So I propose that inasmuch as they are the most visible and numerous and therefore ought to get the naming rights, we should now have another category of Jew in addition to the Reform etc. designations - the Chabad Jew. And just like Kleenex® and Jello® have morphed beyond their initial limited product names into generic words for tissues and gelatin desserts, so too Chabad® can now become the expansive term for exploring Jew. (Isn't that ironic coming from an Aish rabbi?)

And the more I think of it, the more it makes sense. Chabad is an acronym for Chachmah, Binah and Da'at - Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge. And that's exactly what these Jews are doing - they are, each in his or her own way, trying to get a bit more wisdom, understanding and knowledge of who they are and from whence they came as they continue in their personal journey of how our Torah, Mitzvot and Judaism can bring a little bit more peace, enjoyment and meaning in their lives.

But in the meantime, the next time someone comes up to you and asks you what kind of Jew you are, look them in the eye and tell them, "I am Chabad, I am Aish, I am Birthright, I am March of the Living, I am JWRP... I am a Jew who is striving to get closer to God and make this world a better place."

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
keep it going aish i am aish
(10/4/2013 2:16:01 PM)
What an article!
Kudos to this rabbi for being truthful and honest
(10/4/2013 2:18:12 PM)
Very nice
I like this article and appreciate the viewpoint of the author and respect him for writing this article. It shows on his true charachter as a openminded respectful individual. Thank you for writitng it.
(10/4/2013 2:18:22 PM)
I am highly impressed with this Rabbi
(10/4/2013 2:24:25 PM)
What a beautiful and encouraging article! This article reflects integrity, honesty and Mentchlichkeit on the part of the author. What a wonderful human being!!!

Hatzlocha in your holy work!!! How nice to see Chabad an AIsh representatives having such a beautiful relationship!
(10/4/2013 2:26:12 PM)
Beautifully written, his point about the archaic criteria used in the Pew report is so right on!!

Kol Hakavod, rabbi!
(10/4/2013 2:26:22 PM)
Big fan of the Nightingale's
Love you guys! Sooo awesome
(10/4/2013 2:37:49 PM)
Very nicely written...
Although I don't want Chabad to become a "generic" term, I appreciate his being able to to speak honestly about our role in the Teshuva movement; I hope his ahavas Yisroel serves as an example to all, including us.
(10/4/2013 2:57:29 PM)
Wow great article...
(10/4/2013 2:59:39 PM)
Individuals v the organization
I agree, this is a lovely article, very warm & heartening. However, I personally get what Aish is about. My nephew is an Aish Rabbi, he's a decent person & very respectful, even admiring of Chabad & he enjoys learning Chassidus with senior Chabad Shluchim.

But Aish as an organization despises Chabad. Please don't be misled by this article (which I'm sure is 100% sincere) with the ethos of the organization. Aish looks to destroy Chabad, which is why they go to successful Shluchim especially on campus. I know because they are trying to do it to my children on Shlichus- the Aish Rebbetzin's sister is married to another nephew and I know her.

Don't be fooled by the decency of a handful of individual Aish couples & think that Aish loves us. They don't, not even close. The hatred is in Aish's DNA.
(10/4/2013 3:06:30 PM)
brought tears to my eyes to see the emes ahavas yisroel in this article.
(10/4/2013 3:14:49 PM)
May this be the begining of much Achdus among frum Yidden - the only way we can win the war against assimilation!
(10/4/2013 3:18:29 PM)
This article makes me extremely proud to be Chabad.
And says a lot about the author who puts aside his different opinion of Chabad to speak the truth!
(10/4/2013 3:23:04 PM)
Nightingale fan club!!!
Sincerely, Miami girl living in crown heights that misses the south florida community dearly! Achdus makes kllal yisroel strong!
(10/4/2013 3:31:06 PM)
Comment #10
It's kinda ruining the ahavas yisroel/achdus vibe here!!
(10/4/2013 3:33:49 PM)
loved the article but i didn't see the part that he says he's chabad
(10/4/2013 3:42:50 PM)
From A South Floridian
I don't know you, but I like your style and your bravery in writing this. To #10 , shame on you.
(10/4/2013 3:58:18 PM)
to no. 10
Your statement of individuals vs. organization. I suppose you are aware that an organization is not an entity in a vacuum. rather it is a collection of individuals who join together to form an organization. So eventually when more people of Aish will learn to get along with Chabad then the nature of the organization will itself become more tolerant of Chabad.
(10/4/2013 4:05:56 PM)
to 17
theres no shame in telling the truth
(10/4/2013 4:20:23 PM)
(10/4/2013 4:31:33 PM)
to number 10
this article was written with ahavas yisroel and ahavas chinom inthe spirit of all jews wanting to be better and rise in their torah and mitzvos. What is it it you are trying to accomplish with your comment? this is a question one is to ask himself whenever posting anything in public. I am sure your children are dealing with a real issue, yet this comment is not helping them and totaly does not apply to this article or this rabbi.
(10/4/2013 4:36:08 PM)
Rabbi Nightingale Kol Hakavod
Rabbi Nightingale is very close to Chabad, he works hand in hand with chabad, if I am not mistaken him and Chabad had a joined minyan during the quite summer weeks
(10/4/2013 4:38:35 PM)
I am #10
I wrote this so people are not lulled into a false sense of security concerning Aish. I am sorry your touchy-feely sensibilities were jarred but sometimes, the truth and reality are unpleasant. I guess burying your heads in the sand is your reality. Thats OK by me. Good Shabbos.
(10/4/2013 5:02:20 PM)
Kol Hakavod!
Write a article about the few people like Rabbi Nightingale who fall into the category of "Mentch"!!
(10/4/2013 5:10:01 PM)
If you can't beat'em
Copy them
(10/4/2013 5:11:00 PM)
response to #10
please tell your children not to worry about the other Rabbi trying to compromise them. I fully went all the way Chabad when the Aish Rabbi i was connected to lost his temper when he realized i was exploring and getting involved in Chabad. He totally lost my respect, especially since Chabad was welcoming me and not trying to "keep me on their side". People can see through the Emes and if your chidlren are doing that then they will be just fine! i am very tempted to fwd this article to the Aish Rabbi i knew!!!
(10/4/2013 5:30:06 PM)
proud family in c.h
Thank you for recognizing the efforts of our children in Waterloo. We are so proud. Continued hatzlocha
(10/4/2013 6:09:16 PM)
Next year kinus keynote
(10/4/2013 6:27:51 PM)
The Rabbi writes nowhere that he is Chabad. The title is erroneous and misleading.
(10/4/2013 6:32:33 PM)
#10 I have to agree with you, and there other reasons I can add to yours, but I won't.
#25, Exactly.
(10/4/2013 6:53:36 PM)
To #16 and #29
The title of his article, as written in the introduction, is "I Am Chabad."

See his website: http://www.aishfl.com/purplesheet/
(10/4/2013 7:51:52 PM)
a jew
You are an asset to our community. You are one of our pillars. You are why it is so wonderful being jewish. B"H"
(10/4/2013 8:16:52 PM)
I am Chabad
Kol ha'kavod!
(10/5/2013 12:51:19 PM)
Aish exists because of Chabad. Period.
(10/5/2013 2:22:22 PM)
chabad failure
71% mixed marriage rate of non orthodox. It is statistically hard to get much higher than that. all that kirov money, all those man hours.and the result? AS IF NOTHING WAS DONE. The reason is "light Chabad" where everything is ok. The Rebbe's Mi hu Yehudi demand long long taken off the agenda. US Chabad rabbis didn't want to offend people. such a shame.
(10/5/2013 5:41:54 PM)
Chaim a Chabadnik
Rabbi Nightingale, your words will ring in our ears far after the report is long buried in the place of irrelevancy from which it sprang.
May you continue to inspire Jews
(10/5/2013 8:24:36 PM)
My Brochas to Rabbi Nightingale and his Family
Wishing you hatzlocha as you do the work of the Rebbe - you are doing a shlichus and that zchus should give you great hatzlocha and brochah and most of all much nachas from all of your beautiful family. Chazak v'emotz!
(10/5/2013 9:14:08 PM)
#10, let's take our cues from the Rebbe...
Even if he was personally attacked, the Rebbe would never say a negative word about a Jew. Anyway, there are always "good and bad" amongst all people, INCLUDING OUR OWN Chabad (do not ask to start that dialogue here, we have plenty of dirty laundry to air). Let us all applaud this Rabbi'sahavas yisroel.
(10/5/2013 9:23:31 PM)
to everyone who says he isn't Chabad
Let's get this clear. He very clearly Says "WE are far from a blimp". As in we, chabad.... clearly showing he is Chabad. Come on people,read. ... But seriously why all the hatred etc? Tge rebbe stood and taught ahavat yisrael no matter what. .... so why the arguments? Stop looking for problems and see the point of this message that this rabbi is portraying. ... grow up people
(10/5/2013 9:25:09 PM)
to number 35
How can you say it is a failure? Are you that close minded? Ate you that shallow? Even the smallest things help as what the rebbe taught. Might lose the marriage front but even if they came to shul once or davened once or whatever then it was worth it. .... cause them doing that meant more cause was harder for them and they put Themself out more than someone who is religious. ... open your eyes boet.... see the bigger picture.
(10/5/2013 9:29:32 PM)
Send him thank you - Email
take a minute to thank him for this article etc - tnightingale@aish.com
if anyone knows a better email address - please post
(10/5/2013 11:01:13 PM)
that which he did, to bring Aish and Chabad closer, and to publicly make that statement, was a big mitzva, a big, public kiddush HaShem. Kol Hakavod.
#35, you are thinking narrow. I agree with #40. You have to think in a broader spectrum of thought.
(10/5/2013 11:43:33 PM)
Aish is teaching Tanya (Denver and many other locations - 26 centers)
Aish is proclaiming they are Chabad (I am Chabad - http://www.aishfl.com/purplesheet/)

so it makes you wonder!
Come to Chabad the Aish way?
Come to Aish the Chabad way?
In any case competition is healthy.
(10/5/2013 11:52:36 PM)
the Rebbe
The Rebbe said "labels are for shirts". all of the labeling of this survey is divisive, wrong and meaningless and not because they left out Chabad. 9% of Orthodox have xmas trees and 15% of Orthodox regularly attend Church services are 2 of the factoids reported that are extremely not believable.
(10/6/2013 12:02:24 AM)
the Aish website declares "I am Chabad" so why not just affiliate with the Chabad Shluchim as a Branch.
Aish is very calculated in their system.
Chabad is the Rebbe's system.
Rabbi Nightingale is a Tzadik for saying the truth
Aish organization placed it on their website and that make you wonder is the entire organization turning Chabad? is Chabad a Noun (generic term)?

The Aish organization are very clever individuals and this is not a slip up or oversight to insert this article on their website.

If I was part of Aish I would copy Chabad - when someone would ask me are you Chabad I would say yes! because Chabad is a GENERIC term.
You get my point?
(10/6/2013 12:29:10 AM)
To 44
The Rebbe never said "labels are for shirts".
While your point might be valid, please do not misquote the Rebbe.
(10/6/2013 12:44:33 AM)
No. 35
The problem is "light Chabad"? No, the problem is you're an am haaretz. See the Sicha of 24 Teves 5749.
(10/6/2013 12:49:10 AM)
Director of Aish openly praised Chabad
I heard a shiur where the director of Aish who has passed on by now openly praised Chabad and the wonderful work that they do.
(10/6/2013 1:00:16 AM)
to # 10
I agree with much of what you say. More troubling is the lack of standards that the organization might have. Remember during the 2000 election when Lieberman was selected? Aish posted a picture of him, without a yarmulke, and titled it "the new face of Judaism." They've also been more supportive of YU's promotion of destroying marriages without counseling just because one party wants to - which not only runs counter to halacha and to the advice of any therapist worth his/her salt, but also attacks Judaism and the next generation at its core. There are many good people in Aish, as is true of every organization, and I would not go so far as to say, as you do, that hate is at their core (there are not such good people in almost every organization as well), but the standards and the difference in core beliefs is profound and shouldn't be ignored. That said, this is a nice article.
(10/6/2013 2:55:46 AM)
Very nice!! Achdus!!
We're all in the same business with the same mission!!

Kol hakavod yyasher koachacha!!!
(10/6/2013 4:57:18 AM)
Even f aish praised chabad
They are out to destroy them. They only praise if they would benefit. They don't want people to go t the shluchim... They do everything they can to prevent it
(10/6/2013 5:09:38 AM)
Aish garner their publicity by faking connections to chabad
Remember the facebook scandal?

I work in an organisation where they kiss the feet of the Aish Rabbi and Chabad is not allowed in the building (unless they need something for free!)
(10/6/2013 7:45:45 AM)
In response to number 10
I understand there are many shluchim that don't get along with aish in their community. But that is the shluchim's fault. They should not rely on aish to be kind to them. they should go out of their way to be kind to aish and want with all their effort to work with them. otherwise it shows on their own ego and insecrities. A true secure person can respect someone else even if the other person was not nice to them. That will breed a peaceful community where all jews are united.
(10/6/2013 9:06:11 AM)
not aish or chabad
chabad IS mentioned. in the assimilated category.
(10/6/2013 9:51:56 AM)
Aish ?
Why didn't Aish put this article on their central website - Aish.com ?
He is probably getting flack from Aish headquarters.
(10/6/2013 10:18:08 AM)
Talk to your kids!!!
I grew up in both reform and conservative movements. I ONLY ever dated Jewish men!! Period. I was told if you only date Jews, you will only marry a Jew. I didn't find my beshert until I was 32 years old. We met at a Shabbat service for singles and love him dearly. I tell our two children all the time that they will marry nice Jewish people. Why? So we keep our family Jewish. They are 7 and 10 and I tell them how lucky they are to be Jewish! My son was maybe 3 when he came home from the shul preschool and said he was going to marry a girl. The 1 girl NOT Jewish in his class. I told him he couldn't because she wasn't Jewish. He thought about it said another girls name to marry and I said YES you can marry her, she comes from a nice Israeli family. He has known since he was 3 that he will marry a nice Jewish girl. Period. I've told my kids how much easier it is to marry a fellow Jew because we celebrate the same holidays, etc. We don't live in a very Jewish area. My kids are normally the only Jew in their class. My kids go to Hebrew school, Youth Group AND Jewish Camp (day camp and sleep away.) Talk to your kids. We will have less inter-faith marriages!!
(10/6/2013 11:13:57 AM)
Great message
Right idea, but wrong way of addressing it. At present, I could check off "Orthodox." But a few years ago, I would not have been able to select anything, even with a "Chabad" option.
(10/6/2013 11:47:00 AM)
Make Rabbi Nightingale an Honorary Shaliach!
I would like Rabbi Nightingale to have the title of Honorary Shaliach and be welcome to all programs available to shluchim! The Rebbe would be proud to have him enlisted in the Rebbe's Army.
(10/6/2013 12:11:56 PM)
(10/6/2013 1:11:39 PM)
aish rabbi.l am chabad..
Greatest article I have read in a long time.well written.i appreciate it.
(10/6/2013 2:39:38 PM)
He actually seems sincere. Good for you Rabbi. I am honored to be apart of your world view.
(10/6/2013 3:51:26 PM)
Ahavas Yisrael, Please
An aish rabbi had the courage and conviction to come out, praise Chabad, and sign his name in a public forum. Kol Hakavod. And the response of some of of "unzere" - in a public forum, and unsigned of course - is a shande. Is this what the Rebbe taught? This is ahavas Yisrael? To slap someone in the face when he compliments you?
(10/6/2013 3:55:39 PM)
When he writes that he isn't writing as 'I am Chabad' the way we think of Chabad but as HE is trying to redefine it- as he clearly explained at the end of the article- he wants "Chabad" to become the generic term to
refer to any Jew affiliated with the baal teshuvah movement. Whether that is a good thing or not I don't know but that's his point.
(10/6/2013 4:38:28 PM)
to 53
you sound like a farmer who has a grudge that you did not go on shlichus.
(10/6/2013 5:14:34 PM)
Chabad = Using all your intellectual faculties in the service of Hashem
His definition
Of growing, and Seeking to grow more and become more and better informed and educated, That, IS what chabad theology teaches and emphasizes!
(10/6/2013 5:32:39 PM)
Aish has got the right ruach!
Mayim and afar!

Aish, the more similar aish drifts to chabad the more achdus and the more synergy is visible
Rly nice to see all Kiruv movements drifting together in harmony towards the geulah!!
(10/6/2013 5:36:06 PM)
Who in the world cares?
Does the Abeshter care what group a person claims to identify with?

The main thing is to do mitzvos and study Torah with deep simchah and to make Hashem the main factor in your life.

It is irrelevant if someone is Chabad, Aish, Sefaradi, Charedi or Dati Leumi. Every Jewish neshamah has infinite potential and and the end of the day you are judged as a JEW.

Enough of the sectarian garbage, you are preventing Moshiach's arrival.
(10/6/2013 5:57:46 PM)
kol hakovode
the REBBA says every yid is connected to the REBBA
(10/6/2013 7:00:16 PM)
Is rabbi nightingale moshiach?????
(10/6/2013 7:53:14 PM)
to # 31
Just be cause the title on Aish's website is I am Chabad, naming the article "Aish Director: I am Chabad" is still misleading because the title on Aish is just suggesting that there should be a new category, however not that HE is saying I Am chabad...
(10/6/2013 8:16:47 PM)
to # 31
"Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale of Aish South Florida responds to Pew's study on Jewish assimilation by stating he's Chabad."

Please show me where in the article is says that.
(10/6/2013 8:17:40 PM)
I care!!
I care and am over joyed to see achdus and words of unity replace decades of the opposite

This is beautiful

The Rebbe was very encouraging of ALL Kiruv efforts by all who cared to get involved even under non chabad names long as Kiruv took place the rebbe was very very encouraging and pleased

This achdus tone is beutoful and refreshing!! May many learn and follow suite
(10/6/2013 8:43:11 PM)
To 35
And what exactly did YOU ever do in all your life for miyhu yehudi? What exactly did you ever do, for that matter, for any the rebbes inyonim (besides bash shluchim like a typacyl self hating farmer)?
(10/6/2013 10:15:29 PM)
This is amazzzing
(10/6/2013 10:50:44 PM)
I love it!
Wonderful article! I AM AISH TORONTO
(10/6/2013 11:26:33 PM)
He IS chabad!
Those who know him and his wife...
His day to day life style and focus of all his activities and 99% of his hashkafah is pure chabad!! I've heard him speak and read is articles
His view and life focus is virtually indistinguishable from the Rebbe's teachings!!
(10/7/2013 1:49:55 AM)
isn't chabad orthodox?
or am I missing something...
(10/7/2013 9:13:24 AM)
Claiming to chabad fame
If the rabbi wanted he could have joined Chabad in their efforts. No he has his own way and it works for those that it works for. Proofs and professors have no place in a chabafd house. They have a home in aish. Aish and Chabad are like shamayim v aretz. Why use their name? Chabad gets a lot of credit for what they do from secular Jews, assimilated Jews, and non Jews. How many non Jews know what or where aish is? What aish does? Why it is good for their community? Ask any congressman or pubic activist and they will know Chabad. Ask a police chief in midtown Manhattan across the street from aish headquarters and he will know Chabad........... friends, coreligionists what is aish??????
(10/7/2013 9:21:33 AM)
#77 Is chabad orthodox
Apparently the writer (and all the commenters) don't consider themselves orthodox. Which means they are another stream of Judaism C"V.
(10/7/2013 12:20:20 PM)
to #64 and #73
If you are a Shliach and represent the Rebbe, then that's no way to speak to/about people. If you are not a Shliach, then I guess you are a self proclaimed farmer:-).
(10/7/2013 2:09:36 PM)
76 is correct
The Rabbi and his wife are allot more chabad than many "card holding farmers"
Chabad is a way of life, not a genealogical membership that ur born into,
Outreach, Adherence to Halacha, Simcha shel mitzvah, that is chasidus!! That is chabad!!

Untznius, Unshlichus, UnAhavas yisroel, is Un-chabad
Growing and increasing in yidishkeit and Torah That is chabad!
(10/7/2013 2:43:48 PM)
I never thought of it like that.
(10/7/2013 3:34:03 PM)
Alternative Title
I am Chabad & Aish & Kollel & Young Israel & Exploring & Baal Teshuva & Somewhat Observant & Hillel & Birthright & ...
(10/7/2013 10:47:22 PM)
Eitan Kagan
Excellent hypothesis!
(10/8/2013 3:51:53 AM)
(10/8/2013 10:44:19 AM)
The Real Jew
a jew is a jew is a jew. these labels are silly. just people working to get closer to HAshem in defferent ways.
(10/8/2013 3:16:48 PM)
Thank you so much for this article. The fact that you are an AISH rabbi and yet talk so beautifully about chabad makes me very happy! Its really inspiring to see the ahavas yisroel you posses. I hope I can instill the same in my children.

Thank you
(10/8/2013 7:55:00 PM)
yasher Koach
My son is Chabad and went to an aish program this summer and loved it. We all want the same thing.The most important thing is love and respect for one another regardless of the different approach .
(10/10/2013 12:07:38 AM)
Tikun Olam
I am not Chabad, but you have to respect what Chabad and the Rebbe were able to accomplish in bringing Jews that would have been lost to Judaism. And, although I do not know the origination of Aish as an organization, it is clear it was in response to Chabad's success in bringing marginal Jews in. As to some of the negative postings, we continue to make the same mistakes. We lost the Second Temple because jealousy and hate among the Jews. It is time that we concentrate on love of fellow Jews and not to belabor differences.
(10/10/2013 6:23:46 AM)
Italian Traditionalist Jew
Very nice articles!
Joe Victor Behar
Jewish, Italian, Living in Miami, i consider myself a traditionalist , even not highly observant, still considering myself Jewish, Traditionalist, Modern Orthodox and Italian Sephardic Jew! I go to Chabad Synagogues .. As they are the main ones that welcome Jewish, that consider them Jewish and nothing else!
(10/11/2013 12:40:40 PM)

(10/13/2013 5:30:30 AM)
so encouraging
Hope this gets to one of the creators of the Pew Poll. It was clear that their section was not representative. May all the hafotzoniks and keiruvniks continue working TOGETHER to change these statistics .
(10/13/2013 3:43:05 PM)
To # 10 and 53
I'm a Shliach close to 30 years.
Yes, you're right in your general description of Aish. I know more stories than most.
However, this Rabbi, didn't write his letter on behalf of Aish he wrote it on his behalf. And he is to be commended for writing the truth. And I'm sure it wasn't easy, especially from his peers

Aish has changed, religiously. And they aren't the "Torah" crowd they tried to be. And I'm not sure Chabad and Aish even compete in the same sphere anymore in the big cities. But in the little ones they are more annoying and damaging than anything else.

To # 53 - you are utterly out of your mind, your depth and you clearly have no idea how nasty these guys (Rabbis AND Rebbetzins I may add) can get

Point: this Rabbi should be commended for writing what we know to be the truth. And I would love to hear him at the Kinnus!
(10/14/2013 10:24:39 PM)
Sarah Jones
You can sense that this Rabbi is coming from a very pure place, he is clearly at peace with himself and his Jewishness and wants other people to experience the happiness he has found within in his faith. I became religious at 19 when a trip abroad randomly introduced me to Chabad and I was so inspired to see other people who seemed committed to truth. But most of the people who I encountered were Ba'alei Teshuva, and their passion and genuineness was what really got me in. They wanted, like this Rabbi, to find an inclusive, beautiful Judaism, and to share it with others. I have found many, many Chabad people, from Chabad families, who are so so so so far away from this ideal. They really put me off. They prattle off sayings of the Rebbe and lecture others when they themselves are struggling with their own faith. They lack sincerity. When I see someone who is sincere and humble in their faith, that inspires me. This article truly captured that .
(10/24/2013 7:07:44 AM)
First and foremost growing up I learned to be a PROUD JEW. I was born into a family where my Great Grandparents had proudly passed on the Reform Tradition from South Africa. I too despite the great inconvenience caused by the 20 mile distance raised my daughter as a Reform Jew.
For the last year and half I have been on my own exploratory path including learning at Aish keeping Shabbos. I have not experienced anything like what #10 alluded to from the Aish or Chabad people I have spoken with.
While I am still exploring I have come to three conclusions.
1-Jews regardless of their affiliation are more similar than they are different. Many Reform Jews myself included believe that God gave the Torah to Moses complete as it is today. Most Jews without realizing it have adopted the Reform Tradition of choosing which of the Halacha are relevant and to be observed.

2-When the Jew Killers come and come they will, they will not make the distinctions between the types of Jews that we Jews make.
(2/21/2015 2:32:20 AM)
Great points! Fantastic!!
(2/23/2015 10:57:02 AM)
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