When it comes to our youth, the Chabad-Lubavitch philosophy is simple; education is not limited to the hours a child sits in a classroom, but must become a way of life. Through an exciting mix of hands-on programming, children in Chabad-Lubavitch educational institutions learn the importance of kindness and good deeds, and experience fun and interactive programs about Jewish history, holidays and practices.
In the 1940s, when Chabad-Lubavitch came to the United States, the first order of business was to establish schools and quality educational programs for children, promoting Jewish values, holidays and observances. In 1980, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, expanded these efforts by establishing “Tzivos Hashem” (“G-d’s Army”), an international network of educational organizations exclusively for children under the age of 13, channeling the natural enthusiasm and sincerity of children to lay the foundation for a Jewish future.
When more and more schools began to recognize the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse among our youth, Chabad-Lubavitch began to develop interactive programs that give children the tools to make healthy decisions. Since then, Chabad-Lubavitch has been at the forefront of developing these quality educational programs for children. In 1987 Chabad-Lubavitch launched Project PRIDE (Prevention, Resources, Information and Drug Education), an innovative, national network of clinically-based drug prevention and education programs. Now in 28 cities across North America, the program includes a variety of materials and courses designed for children from kindergarten through high school.
Chabad-Lubavitch offers innovative programs—such as model shofar and matzah factories, Lag B’Omer children’s parades, Chanukah theater, and beginner’s Shabbat—to teach children about Jewish history and culture in an interactive and entertaining environment. Today, Chabad-Lubavitch is the largest and most vibrant Jewish youth organization in the world, with more than 91,000 members in North America and over 210,000 members worldwide, all under the age of 13.
• In 2003, more than 177,000 children toured Chabad-Lubavitch model matzah factories worldwide, experiencing the history, meaning and joy of Passover. More than half of these children are from unaffiliated Jewish families.
• Chabad-Lubavitch reaches an estimated 150,000 school children a year with drug and alcohol prevention classes, pamphlets and workshops.