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A Chabad house is a centre for disseminating Traditional Judaism by the Chabad movement. Chabad Houses are run by the local Shaliach (emissary), who was sent to that place by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who founded all Chabad Houses. In the Chabad houses, 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: Moshiach campaigns, 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.
A website called "ChabadMars" appeared announcing a Chabad mission to Planet Mars which would establish the first Chabad House beyond Planet Earth. The website appeared to be legitimate and was well within the parameters of Chabad's mission, making it seem plausible. To clarify that the site had no relationship with official Chabad, the creators added a disclaimer in the footer. Nonetheless, the website prompted discussion and attracted the attention of news outlets both in the general mainstream and in Jewish communities.
- The Chabad House
- The New York Times, December 16, 2005.
- Passover Seders, Around the World, The Associated Press, March 19, 2007
- Chabad of Mars
- Haaretz: Is Chabad planning a mission to Mars?