Winning... is everything

Friday, 4 November, 2011 - 1:04 pm

Dear Friends,

Chabad of Louisiana is approaching its 36th anniversary. Established in late November of 1975 with a primary focus on Tulane University, Chabad developed over the years into a multi-faceted organization with a broad range of programs and services being offered from its three centers, Chabad of Louisiana (located in uptown), Chabad of Metairie, and Chabad @ Tulane.

Many people mistakenly assume that Chabad of Louisiana, as part of a global movement, is funded (all or in part) by Chabad HQ in New York. The reality is that the Chabad system is structured like a franchise, where each branch is financially independent and responsible. The only difference is that we do not even pay a franchise fee or dues to the movement. 100% of the funds raised by Chabad of Louisiana are applied to fund the local Chabad and its programs and services. As such one can be assured that every penny contributed to Chabad of Louisiana will stay in the community.

This also presents a challenge in that we must raise our entire budget from individuals who appreciate the work that we are doing locally. Chabad Uptown does not even have membership. All of our funds come from your generous contributions. The result is efficient use of limited funds to maximize our offering of quality programming at low cost. We are extremely appreciative of our many supporters – who recognize the value of what Chabad brings to the community. We are especially thankful for your continued support during these tough economic times.

Last year I shared this insight from my late grandfather, Mr. Mordechai Rivkin. My grandfather was a very charitable person, even during times of his life when doing so was very difficult. He often shared with me, his philosophy on giving when times are tough. He explained it by way of an analogy. Imagine, he related, that one's financial situation is like a trip on a horse and wagon. When the horses are too tired or the wagon is sinking due to the burden it is carrying, one looks to lighten the load. Usually one seeks to cast off the least important things on the wagon. Similarly, when economic times are tough we lighten the load by "casting off" certain expenditures. However, he explained, "casting off" the expenditure of Tzedakah would be akin to lightening the load on the wagon by casting off one of the wheels. My grandfather felt that Tzedakah is essential to the giver's financial survival, as it is the vehicle through which to receive G-d's blessing for success.

On November 15 Chabad is holding a raffle for $10,000 and a number of other exciting prizes. Each ticket goes for $100. In this raffle everyone is a winner! Your participation will allow Chabad to continue our important work in this community. Please take a moment and check out the raffle at and buy a ticket (or a few). Now more than ever we need you support, and a chance to win 10K couldn’t hurt either. We thank you in advance for your participation.

Mazel Tov to Rachel (Kaufmann) and Mendy Traxler and the Kaufmann and Traxler families upon the birth of their daughter.

Mazel Tov to Sarah (Brum) and Sholom Mendelsohn and the Brum family upon the birth of their son.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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