A Chabad house is a centre for disseminating traditional Judaism by the Chabad movement. Chabad houses are run by a Chabad Shaliach (emissary), his wife – a Shalucha (fem. for emissary) – and his family. They are located in cities and on or near college campuses.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (the Rebbe) sent rabbi Shlomo Cunin to Los Angeles in 1965 by to lay the groundwork for Chabad's West Coast activities. The first Chabad house for university students was opened in March 1969 at the University of California, Los Angeles by Rabbi Cunin. A key to the Chabad house was given to the Rebbe and he asked if that meant that the new house was his home. He was told yes and he replied, "My hand will be on the door of this house to keep it open twenty-four hours a day for young and old, men and women alike."
In 1972 Rabbi Cunin opened additional Chabad houses at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Diego. By 2003, Cunin had overseen the establishment of nearly 100 Chabad houses in California.
It is important to note that each Chabad house is independently funded by the locals, In the case of Chabad on campus by the parents or alumni, although till alumni are financially stable enough to make serious contributions can take 15 years. in the case of a Chabad house in a tourist destination or a businesses hub in Asia, the funding would be from foreigners.
In a Chabad house, the Shaliach and Shalucha (rabbi and his wife) host programs, activities, and services for the local Jewish community and for tourists.
These centers exist today around the world, and serve as Jewish community centers that provide educational and outreach activities serving the needs of the entire Jewish community, regardless of degree of observance. Each center aims to provide a cozy and informal place to learn about and observe Judaism, and provides an atmosphere such that all Jews feel comfortable at Chabad events. Some are in or very near college campuses, others are not.
Chabad houses are typically run by a Chabad rabbi and rebbetzin, often with the assistance of unmarried Chabad young men or women, or, in the case of more developed Chabad houses, with the assistance of a second or even third married couple.
Some typical Chabad house programs include: Hospital and prison visitations; holiday activities such as "Sukkah Mobiles," Chanukah and Purim gift baskets and kits, holiday rallies and festivals; counseling and social Services; Jewish studies classes, lectures and seminars; Judaica services; regular newspapers and kosher meals. Classes may also be provided for non-Jews in the Noahide laws, as per rabbi Schneerson's Noahide campaign.
Chabad houses in universities, known as Chabad on Campus, often provide housing for students, peer counseling and drug prevention centers, student activity offices, a synagogue, a publications center, library, kosher dining hall, student lounges, and a computer area. These facilities are designed with the goal of providing a healthy social environment for young Jewish men and women on campus.
- Fishkoff 2003, p. 94.
- Chumash Devarim. New York: Kehot Publication Society. 2011. pp. vii. ISBN 978-0-8266-0194-0.
- Fishkoff 2003, p. 95.
- Levy, Faygie (November 19, 2014). "The Young Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries: Who They Are, Where They're Going". Chabad.org. Chabad. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
It's a much different environment than when Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff went on shlichus with his wife, Chiena, in 1972. "When I started out, we had to pull our own wheels. We had to do our own initiatives. Today, thank G‑d, it is much easier. We have resources like the Shluchim Office, Chabad.org and the Jewish Learning Institute".
- "The Chabad House".
- The New York Times, December 16, 2005.
- Passover Seders, Around the World, The Associated Press, March 19, 2007
- "Jewish Learning Institute offers course on 'Medicine and Morals'". www.chabadgables.com. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
- "New JLI course is being offered by Chabad House". www.jlicentral.com. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
- "Chabad to present course on 'Medicine and Morals'". www.stljewishlight.com. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
- "Jewish medical ethics course to start Oct. 26". www.jlicentral.com. Retrieved September 26, 2014.