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What We Do

What We Do

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Chabad of Glendale and the Foothill Communities is dedicated to increasing the awareness, knowledge and tradition of Judaism in the Southern California communities of Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose and Verdugo City.  Its purpose is to reach out to all, regardless of age, affiliation or level of observance.

Chabad extends a welcoming hand to all and has established contact with families in towns and counties lying well outside of established Jewish areas. We overlook no one and will go anywhere to help another. We have successfully stimulated Jewish activity in areas often overlooked by other organizations.

Chabad offers education, but more importantly, it offers the opportunity to experience first-hand the vitality and relevance of Judaism as it is lived today. Participants experience the joy and celebration, the intimacy and compassion, the wisdom and knowledge that is inherent in Jewish life and learning.

Chabad is a full service organization responding to both the material and spiritual needs of the community. Through classes, counseling and celebrations, we will use whatever means necessary to bring the message of Judaism to children, teens, adults and the elderly.

Chabad is an energetic and effective adversary to the forces that threaten the continuity of Judaism. To this end, we have touched the lives of thousands of Jews. As we expand our efforts, we intend to touch thousands more.

Chabad gives people the opportunity to examine the foundation of their religion and to truly understand and experience the wellspring of Jewish life, tradition and culture. That wellspring is Judaism...unadulterated, unchanged, pure and true.

With real knowledge, individuals can make personal choices in an informed manner, based on truth...not interpretation or hearsay.
In a manner that is simultaneously intellectual and intimate, Chabad addresses all facets of Judaism from the rational, everyday aspects of physical existence to the emotional and mystical core of religious experience.

Most importantly, Chabad is experiential. Our approach is to consistently combine the teaching of Torah with personal experience and to demonstrate the relevancy of Torah to everyday life.

While Jews are "People of the Book", Jewish life is dynamic, vibrant and alive. It is fun and joyous. It provides comfort and support through life's happy moments as well as its traumas and losses.

Chabad shares this genuine feeling of Judaism through Shabbat and Holiday meals, at picnics or group gatherings, in private counseling and tutoring sessions where intimacy and trust are born and nurtured.

Activities, Programs and Participants

The following is a list of activities currently being offered by Chabad.

• Adult Education
• Shabbatons - Friday night and Saturday mornings
• Hospital Visitations
• Camp Gan Israel – Toddler Summer Program
• Holiday Programs: The Cycle of the Jewish Year
• Private Tutoring
• Special Events
• Community wide Jewish Educational Programs
• Children’s Club
• Media Programming
• Jewish Holiday Guides
• Online Jewish assistance

Adult Education

Lunch and Learn
"Lunch and Learn" provides an educational opportunity for business people with little opportunity to learn.  Classes take place in a business setting during lunch hour and Kosher meals are provided.  For 45 minutes the mundane work place becomes a center for Jewish learning and inspiration.

Project Talmud
A unique, interactive learning experience, Project Talmud brings advanced Yeshiva students together with members of the community to create a "mini Yeshiva" environment of intense learning and discussion.  Participants learn at their own level and pace, covering topics of Jewish law, Talmud, and Kabbalah.

Viewpoint
A provocative and stimulating lecture series in which scholars bring a Torah perspective to contemporary issues.  Speakers include rabbis, physicians, attorneys, scientists, and business people.

Classes, Private Learning, Tutoring
A full schedule of mid week and Shabbat classes are given by Rabbi Backman, in the offices and homes of the participants.  Classes are arranged for the convenience of participants, and cover a variety of topics that relate Torah to the issues of everyday life.

Holiday Guides

Chabad Holiday Guides are informational booklets mailed to 5,000 homes at least four times per year. They arrive in Jewish homes just prior to each of the major Jewish holidays, and provide each household with the "how tos" of holiday celebration.  Inside their attractively designed pages, are the laws, customs, blessings and Chassidic insights appropriate to each holiday.  Last year over 20,000 booklets were distributed to homes, hospitals, nursing facilities and schools.  For many Jewish homes, these booklets are their only active link to Yiddishkeit and the primary source of Jewish education for their children.  

Shabbat

At Chabad, Jews from every walk of life gather at the home of Rabbi Simcha and Shterna Backman for Shabbat meals.  A full Shabbat program allows Jews to participate in the wonder, warmth and excitement of Shabbat and learn why and how it is the centerpiece of the Jewish week.  For dozens of families, Shabbat with Chabad is the beginning of creating and celebrating Shabbat in their own home with their own children.  It is an introduction and initiation into the beauty, mystery and tranquility of Shabbat.  From this intimate, family centered, experience, an ever widening circle is growing and will continue to grow bringing Shabbat into the mainstream of Jewish life.

Holiday Activities: The Yearly Cycle of Jewish Life

Rosh HaShana / Yom Kippur
In addition to hosting all High Holiday Services, Chabad brings the holidays to the sick and homebound who are unable to attend Synagogue.

Rabbi Simcha and Shterna Backman open their home for holiday meals, providing participants with a warm, family experience where they see and feel the joy and splendor that can encompass a Jewish home during these special times of the year.

Shofar Factory
The Shofar Factory, especially attractive to young children, demonstrates how a shofar is made and gives young and old alike a hands on opportunity to learn about the various stages of transformation from animal appendage to ritual object.

Classes
In preparation for the Days of Awe, Chabad offers classes to explain and give insight into the underlying meaning of the holidays and Yom Tov prayers.

Sukkot
Sukkot is the holiday of rejoicing.  Each year dozens of guests participate in the festive holiday meals and hundreds enjoy the grand Sukkot party with lots of food, drink, music and Chassidic dancing.  Chabad supplies Esrogim and Lulavim and introduces dozens of people to the beautiful Mitzvah of taking the four kinds.

The famous Chabad Sukkah Mobile   a Sukkah on wheels   brings Sukkot to those Jews who would otherwise not be able to participate and enjoy.

Simchat Torah
Simchat Torah marks both the end and beginning of the yearly cycle of reading the Torah.  We complete one year’s cycle of Torah reading and immediately begin the next cycle again.  The holiday is marked with intense joy as we express our deep love for and intimacy with the Torah.  On Simchat Torah, with dancing and singing, fun and merriment, we renew our connection to the living, breathing Judaism of our ancestors.

Chanukah

Public Menorah Lightings
Pirsumei Nisa   the Mitzvah of publicizing the holiday   is an essential aspect of Chanukah.  Privately we accomplish this Mitzvah by placing the Menorah in the window of our homes. On a more grand and public scale, Chabad erects a large 15 foot Menorah and Chanukah display at the Glendale Galleria – Los Angeles County’s second largest shopping mall.  Chabad also places Menorahs in various locations throughout the city, including several supermarkets.  Menorahs serve as beacons of light to the thousands of alienated Jews who are easily lost to the lights and music of other religious holidays that occur during the same season.   

Chanukah Parties
These giant, public Menorah lightings are festive events attended by hundreds of people who come to dance, eat latkes and be a part of the Festival of Lights.

Chanukah Brochures
Thousands of Chanukah brochures are mailed and Menorahs with candles are given to anyone who becomes inspired to participate in the Mitzvah.

Olive Oil Workshop
Our "Olive Oil Workshop" gives children the hands on experience of extracting and refining olive oil while learning about the miracle of oil that occurred on Chanukah.

Purim

Shalach Monot
On Purim, it is a Mitzvah to distribute gifts of food to friends.  Chabad distributes thousands of Purim kits containing candy and other goodies, as well as informational guides explaining the inner meaning of the holiday.

Megillah Reading
Rabbi Backman not only has a public megillah reading both in the evening and morning, but also visits people in their homes to assure that each person can fulfill this important Mitzvah.

Slide Show 
Chabad has produced an illustrative slide show to accompany the Megillah reading.  It tells the story of Queen Esther and the miraculous manner in which the Jews of Persia escaped destruction.

The Great Purim Fest
The Chabad Purim Fest is a real community wide event. It is an unforgettable event with lots of food, fun, music, and full of Chassidic spirit.

Passover

Classes
Rabbi Backman holds a series of classes on the inner meaning of Peasach.  Individual and group instruction is given in "How to run your very own Seder for the first time", complete with understanding the highlights of the Hagaddah.

Model Matzah Bakery
Children learn how Matzah is made by baking some themselves. Parents help in this messy and fun activity and the whole family learns about the importance and meaning of Matzah.

Shmurah Matzah & Kashering Service
Chabad distributes hundreds of pounds of traditional, hand made Shmurah Matzah for use at the Seder table.  When requested, Rabbi Backman will personally Kasher the kitchens of people who want a true "Kosher for Peasach" home. 

Sedarim
Chabad Seders are open to all.  For many, it is the only opportunity to observe this most special Jewish holiday.  For others, it is the first step in learning how to create their own family Seder. 

Lag B'omer 

Increasing unity among Jews
This joyous day marks two events in Jewish history.  It marks the end of a plague that had afflicted the students of Rabbi Akiva and it is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Akiva's prized disciple, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.  It is considered an auspicious time for fostering unity among Jews and has traditionally been celebrated with outings and picnics.

Chabad Picnic and Yiddish Kite Day
Our annual Lag B'Omer picnic attracts many children. The day is also known by Glendale Jews as "Yiddish Kite Day" because of the Chabad unique custom of flying kites to proclaim pride in our "Yiddish keit".

Shavuot

A gathering of children
In recognition of the giving of the Torah on Shavuot, all Jews attend Synagogue for the reading of the Ten Commandments.  Because the children were promised to HaShem as the perpetual guarantors of the Torah, a special effort is made to have children attend.  After services, the children enjoy a party where they learn to associate the giving of the Torah as a "sweet" event.

Torah thon
In preparation for the giving of the Torah on Shavuot, it is customary to spend the entire night learning Torah.  Rabbi Backman hosts an all night study and discussion group on different Torah topics relating to Shavuot.

The Three Weeks

Rebuilding the Beit HaMikdash
For three weeks during the summer, Jews commemorate the destruction of the first and second Temples and commit themselves to increasing their Judaism. During the unique Chabad "Rebuild the Beit HaMikdash Project", children are awarded bricks for each Mitzvah they perform.  These bricks, each bearing the name of the child who did the Mitzvah, are affixed to a mural of the Beit HaMikdash.  The goal is to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash with the good deeds of the children of our community and to teach them how important their good deeds are to the welfare of the entire Jewish people.

Camp Gan Israel

Part of the world's largest and fastest growing network of Jewish day camps in the world, our camp enjoys a well-earned reputation as a trendsetter with innovative ideas, creative programs, and new activities being introduced continuously.

Many a child has been known to wait all year to come back to Gan Israel.  Children of every age enjoy a wide rage of exciting activities and field trips in a warm and vivacious atmosphere.

The Jewish Art Calendar

The Jewish Art Calendar features beautiful and meaningful paintings with significant Jewish themes.  It contains practical information about the Jewish year such as local Shabbat candle lighting times and historical and cultural trivia.  The calendar also provides ample space for personal notations.

Email – Thought for the week

A weekly thought sent via email gives one a spiritual boost and adds in one's Judaic knowledge.

About Us

About Us

 
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Synagogue Services

 
Adult Education

Adult Education

 
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Resources

 
Community Services

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Holidays

Holidays