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Chaim Yehuda ("Yudel") Krinsky (born 1933, Boston, Massachusetts) is an ordained rabbi and a member of Chabad-Lubavitch, a Jewish, Hasidic movement. He served for forty years as part of the movement's administrative staff, and as an assistant to the movement's late leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh rebbe of Chabad.
Krinsky served as Schneerson's chauffeur for many years. Beginning from the 1980s, he served as the movement's chief spokesman. In 1994, Krinsky was named sole executor of Schneerson's will. Following Schneerson's death, Krinsky was appointed chairman of several of the movement's central organizations. Today, he is among the most influential figures of the Chabad movement.
Krinsky grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts and was educated at the Boston Latin School. At the age of 12, he was sent by his parents to study at the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva in Brooklyn, where he received his rabbinical ordination. He joined Schneerson's staff in 1957.
In the late 1980s Krinsky created the Lubavitch News Service. He was in charge of disseminating the Rebbe's talks around the world via satellite.
In 1988, the Lubavitcher Rebbe set about reorganizing the organizational structures of the movement and Krinsky was reinstated as secretary of the three controlling boards. Currently, Krinsky is Chairman of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch and Machne Israel, the movement's educational and social services arms, secretary of the umbrella organization Agudas Chasidei Chabad, and director of the Kehot Publication Society.
After the Rebbe's wife died in 1988, the Rebbe appointed Krinsky as the sole executor of his will. Krinsky has been active in helping to build new schools and expanding the reach of the Chabad movement around the world.
He has been active in efforts to retrieve a large library of books connected to the Chabad movement which is in the custody of the Russian government. Many of the books were seized from the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, as part of a Soviet crackdown on religion after the Russian Revolution. Krinsky garnered the support of actor Jon Voight and politician Sam Brownback for his cause.
Krinsky is married to Devorah Kasinetz, daughter of the late Rabbi Zev and Ethel Kasinetz. Their children are:
- Rabbi Levi Krinsky, director of Chabad of New Hampshire.
- Rabbi Hillel David Krinsky, who is married to Shterna Sarah Garelik, daughter of Gershon Garelik, the chief rabbi of Milan, Italy. He is the president of Chabad's Jewish Educational Media.
- Menachem M. Krinsky, who is married to Miriam Turner of Chicago.
- Rabbi Shmaya Krinsky, who is married to Rivkah Gutnick, daughter of Australian commodities magnate Joseph Gutnick.
- Sheine B. Krinsky, who is married to Rabbi Yosef B. Friedman, associate director of the Kehot Publication Society.
- Chana Krinsky, who is married to Rabbi Joseph Futerfas, director of Camp Gan Israel, New York.
Every year, starting in 2007, Newsweek magazine has compiled a list of the fifty most influential rabbis in the United States. Krinsky's was nominated to the list each year. His placings varied from year to year, but he has never dropped from the top five.
- 2007: 2nd place.
- 2008: 4th place.
- 2009: 4th place.
- 2010: 1st place.
- 2011: 1st place.
- 2012: 2nd place.
Following Schneerson's death in 1994, Krinsky was appointed chairman of several of Chabad's central organizations, including Agudas Chasidei Chabad and Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch. Though his appointments were backed by a will signed by Schneerson, some Chabad followers objected his nominations.
As head of Agudas Chasidei Chabad, the Chabad movement's central administrative organization, Krinsky has sued for control of the central Chabad synagogue, 770 Eastern Parkway, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Though the courts ruled in Krinsky's favor, a number of the congregation's members still object the decision.
As head of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, the Chabad movement's educational arm, Krinsky established control of the movement's main publishing house, Kehot Publication Society. A number of lawsuits have been filed between Kehot (represented by Merkos) and a rival Chsbad publishing company, Vaad L'Hafotzos Sichos. Some of these lawsuits are still ongoing.
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- Ehrlich, M. Avrum. The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidim Past and Present. Ktav Publishing. ISBN 0-88125-836-9. (Chapter 20)
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- Gonzalez, David (8 November 1994). "Lubavitchers Learn to Sustain Themselves Without the Rebbe". The New York Times.
- Hananel, Sam (6 April 2005). "Commission hears efforts to retrieve Jewish texts from Russia". Associated Press.
- "Shterna Sarah Garelik Bride Of Rabbi Hillel David Krinsky". The New York Times. 8 April 1981. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "WEDDINGS; Rivkah Gutnick, Shmaya Krinsky". The New York Times. 5 June 1994. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Sheine B. Krinsky Is the Bride Of Rabbi Joseph B. Friedman". The New York Times. 3 April 1979. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- PR Newswire (10 November 2005). "Rapper, Republicans, Relief Org. Heads and Rabbis Named to Forward 50, by America's National Jewish Newspaper".
- Lynton, Michael (2 April 2007). "The Top 50 Rabbis in America". Newsweek.
- Lynton, Michael (11 April 2008). "Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America". Newsweek.
- Lynton, Michael; Ginsberg, Gary; Sanderson, Jay (2009). "50 Influential Rabbis". Newsweek. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Lynton, Michael; Ginsberg, Gary (2010). "The 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America". Newsweek. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Pogrebin, Abigail. "America’s Top 50 Rabbis for 2012". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- In explaining the reason for its demotion of Krinsky, Newsweek and the Daily Beast cited ongoing "pesky lawsuits" involving Krinsky.
- Pogrebin, Abigail (2012-04-02). "America’s Top 50 Rabbis for 2012". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidim Past and Present, M. Avrum Ehrlich, Chapter 20, KTAV Publishing, ISBN 0-88125-836-9
- Rosenberg, Rebecca; Gregorian, Dareh (27 September 2011). "It's a bum's ‘Rosh'". New York Post.
- ""Official" Chabad Tries To Evict Messianists - FailedMessiah.com". Failedmessiah.typepad.com. 2011-09-25. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- "Chabad renews push to evict Crown Heights shul’s leaders | JTA - Jewish & Israel News". JTA. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- "Vaad L'Hafotzas Sichos, Inc. et al v. Krinsky et al :: Justia Dockets & Filings". Dockets.justia.com. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- "Vaad Ihafotzas Hasichos v Krinsky - filed complaint 11-18-2011" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-09-21.