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Chabad marks 30 years since the Rebbe’s passing with launch of new initiatives 

“In a time when Jewish identity is being challenged, there is no better way to honor the Rebbe’s legacy than by expanding Jewish education and outreach,” said Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky.

Celebrating a birthday on the Hebrew calendar. Credit: CKids Natick, Mass.
Celebrating a birthday on the Hebrew calendar. Credit: CKids Natick, Mass.

Marking the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson—on July 9, Chabad-Lubavitch has announced the launch of 100 new CKids After-School Programs, with the first 30 locations published, spanning 10 countries and 15 U.S. states from Barcelona, Spain to Omaha, Nebraska.

The CKids (Chabad Children’s Network) afterschool programs will offer quality Jewish education, enrichment activities and a warm community for children attending public schools. Many of them face significant barriers to accessing quality Jewish education due to escalating costs and recent challenges for Jewish children in the aftermath of the Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7. 

“In a time when Jewish identity is being challenged, there is no better way to honor the Rebbe’s legacy than by expanding Jewish education and outreach,” said Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky of Chabad Headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y. “These new programs are pivotal in providing Jewish children with the education and community connection they critically need, regardless of their circumstances.”

Amongst the 30 forerunners of the initiative is the CKids Afterschool program in Natick, Mass., where Rabbi Levi and Chanie Fogelman are making a significant impact. “We see the program building crucial self-esteem and pride in Jewish identity in the students, increasingly vital in today’s world,” said Fogelman.

CKids After-School
Jewish and Israel studies. Credit: CKids Natick, Mass.

Highlighting the need for such initiatives, Tal Haitner, a mother from Natick and originally from Israel, shared her family’s experience. With her children attending public school, the sense of Jewish community was markedly thin. “Since moving here, ensuring our kids feel part of the Jewish community has been a struggle. The after-school program has become their lifeline to Jewish life. It’s not just an after-school activity; it’s where they grow, connect and learn to be proud of their heritage,” she said.

She emphasized the critical timing post-Oct. 7, noting that “now more than ever, these programs are not just helpful; they are critical for our children, especially my youngest, the only Jewish kid in his grade to thrive as confident, connected members of the Jewish community.”

As the largest provider of Jewish education worldwide, the CKids Afterschool model will offer a comprehensive solution for busy families, providing seamless transitions from school to enriching programs that include STEM, robotics, drama and sports, all integrated with Jewish values and learning. Moreover, the program offers Hebrew literacy courses and preparation for Jewish milestones like bar/bat mitzvahs, without requiring synagogue membership.

Moreover, Chabad announced that it would provide seed funding for 100 new emissaries to establish centers in underserved areas, bringing Jewish infrastructure and resources to communities currently lacking such services.

The anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing serves as a moment of reflection for millions worldwide, inspiring them to recommit to personal growth and the betterment of society. In this spirit, Chabad Headquarters has pledged to intensify its efforts to make Jewish education and community life accessible globally. This significant date will be commemorated through thousands of events worldwide, highlighting the Rebbe’s profound impact, timeless teachings and enduring legacy.

CKids After-School
Weekly jiu-jitsu. Credit: CKids Natick, Mass.
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Chabad-Lubavitch is a philosophy, a movement and an organization. More than 5,000 full-time emissary families (2,000 in the United States) 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.
CKids—The Chabad Children’s network—has changed the game for kids’ Jewish involvement, experiences, and education. Whether it be Hebrew schools, day camps, after-school Enrichment, Shabbat and holiday programs or children’s clubs, CKids gives a special focus to children as a valuable community of their own.
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