The Demographics Don’t Add Up

Demography is a tough nut; it doesn’t lie and when it doesn’t lean in your favor, there is little to be done. That’s why you won’t find any “official” Jewish organizations in smaller Jewish communities like ours. Ask a Jewish “nonprofit professional” to open a Jewish organization in a place like Folsom and they’ll respond with a feasibility study and a polite response that the “demographics don’t support it.”

But at the International Chabad conference I’m participating in this weekend in New York together with thousands of colleagues, you’ll find hundreds of Chabad rabbis who live — permanently — in communities that on paper cannot support a full time Jewish nonprofit organization.

And yet, they do. All over the globe.

Why? Why does Chabad succeed where so many others don’t even try?

I’ll let you in on a secret: Chabad is not in the business of creating Jewish nonprofits. Chabad is in the business of something much, much bigger. Chabad is in the business of changing the world for good, one mitzvah at a time.

When you’re motivated by something so earth-shatteringly important, nothing can stand in your way. Not even demographics.

About the Author
Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum is the co-founder and Executive Director (and chief cook and bottle washer) of the Chabad Jewish Community Center located in Folsom, California and serving the entire region. He relishes the opportunity to discuss religion and politics with anyone who is interested and he is passionate about sharing age old Jewish wisdom with anyone who will listen. One day he will write a book entitled "Never Fall in Love."