Chabad is now Established in 50 States with Addition of New Full-Time Rabbi in South Dakota

The Chabad movement has now established itself in all 50 states.

A Chabad House is soon to be established in South Dakota, the last state for the almost ubiquitous Orthodox organization. With South Dakota, the Jewish group will have erected its flag in all the 50 states. A full-time rabbi, Mendel Alperowitz, has already been appointed for the state. Alperowitz is a 27-year-old seminary graduate who currently works in Brooklyn’s Chabad headquarters. He will move to South Dakota with his wife Mussie and their two daughters. The new Chabad House will be set up in Sioux Falls.

Chabad is now Established in 50 States with Addition of New Full-Time Rabbi in South Dakota[/tweetthis]

Chabad-Lubavitch is a notable movement within the mainstream Jewish tradition. It dates back to the 18th century Chassidic movement. The Chabad leaders, first under Czarist and then Communist Russian authorities, tried to keep Torah Judaism afloat, while suffering relentless persecution and imprisonment for their activities. The end of the Second World War saw Chabad being spread all over the world, caring for material and spiritual requirements of all Jews all over the world. More than 3,500 Chabad institutions now exist all over the world, with a new center opening on a median interval of 10 days.

Baal Shem Tov influenced Chabad teaching. Tov lived in Eastern Europe during the 18th century. The many problems of that era masked the existence of simple Jews with little knowledge and learning. These were also great scholars who generally ignored the commoners. Baal Shem Tov gave the confidence to his students to search much deeper and beyond a person's knowledge and outward behavior. His advice is find the divine spark and show it with real, unconditional love.

South Dakota did not have a dedicated rabbi for several years, from the time Rabbi Stephen Forstein left in 1982. The number of Jewish residents in the state is now no more than 500. The Census Bureau stated that both South Dakota and North Dakota are the two states where Jews number less than 1,000 people.

Jewish residents in South Dakota are served by one conservative synagogue and two reform synagogues. One of the latter can be dated to 1876 when the gold rush in the Black Hills saw Jews scrambling there with many new settlers. Student rabbis are employed by these three synagogues for conducting a few Shabbat services and life-cycle events as well. Holiday services are also performed.


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