To Mr. Bronfman and every other member of self-declared Jewish royalty:
Chabad doesn’t have a heavy, empowered lay structure. They, too, have mega donors like you. But their rabbis are respected and revered by their donors. The rabbis of Chabad have the ultimate power in the organization. This is a very different construct from the Jewish world that you know. In that Jewish world, where I spent so many years working as a marketing consultant, I witnessed a constant and overwhelming fear and intimidation of many intelligent, savvy, capable professionals who were loath to make themselves vulnerable to donors who had the ultimate say. As a result, that Jewish world doesn’t take enough risks. Professionals are scared of the rebuke of the lay people. They are hesitant to make decisions and take risks and put themselves at the mercy of their committees and funders. It is an unhealthy environment and a construct that keeps the Jewish world back.
With all the millions of dollars the Jewish community spends on studies each year, they need to study Chabad. And then, different from writing about all those studies in the Jewish press and hauling them out to meetings and conferences, the results of this study need to be implemented. Because Chabad’s successes are undeniable.
Gary Wexler, “Reform Movement Should Take a Page from Chabad Playbook”, Jewish Journal (20-26 November 2015), 67.