Who, What, Where, and Why



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

Founded in 1772 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, "Chabad" -a Hebrew acronym for "Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge" -is a philosophy of study, meditation, and social outreach that bridges rigorous academics with proactive community involvement. Lubavitch is the town in White Russia where the movement was based for more than a century. The Russian word "Lubavitch" means "brotherly love;" emblematic of the love and dedication that characterizes Chabad-Lubavitch and its emissaries worldwide.

Chabad-Lubavitch promotes the mystical, traditional, legal and social principles of the Torah while using the most modern methods and advanced technologies.

Today over 4,500 full-time emissary families apply 250-year-old principles and philosophy to direct more than 3,500 institutions (and a workforce that numbers in the tens of thousands) dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people worldwide.


Chabad on Campus

Chabad seeks to be a "home away from home" for Jews on campus and offers a wealth of social, educational and spiritual programs at campuses across America and around the globe. At college, students are exposed to new ideas and experiences and Chabad seeks to ensure that students graduate as stronger and more empowered Jews than when they entered.

In the early 1950s, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of blessed memory, began sending rabbinical students to campuses to serve as a resource for students. Since the 1960s, Chabad campus centers open their doors to every Jewish student regardless of background or observance level. Programming always reflects tolerant, non-judgmental and open discussions, which is the hallmark of Chabad's inclusiveness. A unique quality of Chabad's campus centers is the leadership provided by a dynamic couple who create an atmosphere where students can feel safe and seek guidance on a variety of social, education and spiritual issues.

More recently, with the assistance of visionary philanthropists George and Pamela Rohr of New York, Chabad on Campus International has set an ambitious course of expansion. Today, full-service Chabad Jewish student centers are found on over 346 campuses worldwide, and Chabad-Lubavitch serves hundreds of other campuses with Jewish resources.


The Rebbe

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory (1902-1994), the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty, is considered to have been the most phenomenal Jewish personality of modern times. To hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers around the world, he was — and still is, despite his passing — "the Rebbe," undoubtedly, the one individual more than any other singularly responsible for stirring the conscience and spiritual awakening of world Jewry.

The Rebbe is known for his brilliant mind and photographic memory. Many testimonies attribute the personal impact the Rebbe had on them and how through his prayers and blessings they experienced miracles in their times of need. The Rebbe’s published teachings fill more than 300 volumes, and he is noted for his contributions to Jewish continuity and religious thought, as well as his wide-ranging contributions to traditional Torah scholarship.

Inspired by seven generations of illustrious leaders beginning with Rabbi Schneur Zalman, Chabad-Lubavitch has consistently been at the forefront of Jewish education and community activism. The work of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who assumed leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch in 1950, is legendary. Motivated by a profound love for humanity and spurred by boundless optimism and dedication, the Rebbe lifted the global Jewish community from the ashes of the Holocaust, launching an unprecedented range of Jewish institutions, outreach programs and social services.


Chabad SU

Rabbi Mendy Rapoport was born right here in Syracuse where his family has run the Chabad since 1981. He attended yeshivas around America and in Israel. He worked for Mayanot Birthright in Jerusalem, was a paratrooper in the IDF and interned at Chabads in Hebron, Atlanta, Mexico, Vietnam and Dubai.

Mrs. Lakey Rapoport grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, where her family runs Chabad Chevra at the University of Hartford. After a year studying at a teaching seminary in Tzfat, she worked for Chabad Chevra at the University of Hartford and taught Judaic Studies to elementary and middle school students in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The Rapoports married in the summer of 2022, made the move to Syracuse in the summer of 2023, and are now fully and enthusiastically committed to creating and being a home away from home for every Jewish student at Syracuse University.