NEW YORK (RNS) More than 4,000 Chabad rabbis representing 80 countries gathered on Sunday in Brooklyn for what was described as New York City's largest sit-down dinner. The group Chabad marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as "the Rebbe," considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century.
Earlier this year, a new biography of Schneerson landed on The New York Times best-seller list. "Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History" by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin also was listed for a period in the #1 spot on Amazon's "Christian leadership" section.
The Chabad movement, which traces itself back to 18th century Russia and is now based in Brooklyn, seeks to deepen the spirituality of Jews globally. Chabad is the largest groups of Hasidim, the most Orthodox of Jews, and leaders of the movement say it is growing every year.
About one in four Jewish households in Miami have engaged with Chabad programming, for example, including 42 percent of Jewish households with children at home, according one study. The survey suggested that nearly half of all Jewish households led by people under age 35 visited a Chabad center or participated in a Chabad-related activity within the past year.
The photos below from Sunday's gathering illustrate the global reach of Chabad.
All photos by Adam Ben Cohen / Chabad.org
Video by Sarah Pulliam Bailey