You know the saying "behind every Chabad community leader is... her husband."
Well, I'm home alone this weekend with the kids as Mussie spends time in New York at the annual Chabad women's leadership conference. She is catching up with friends and family from around the world, including from the other 49 states and 107 different countries.
Earlier this morning, Mussie and thousands of her colleagues gathered for their annual "class photo." Just before that another "class photo" was taken, with over 1500 girls who dedicatedly serve world Jewry alongside their parents today, and are the future of Jewish leadership tomorrow.
These group photos of Chabad women and girls are symbolic of what amazes the world most about Chabad. Alongside Chabad’s staggering growth, its tremendous focus on women leadership is a trend setter. This phenomenon is unparalleled in Jewish organizations and unprecedented in history, and dates back to the early days of the Rebbe's leadership in 1951.
Chabad manages to seamlessly balance the modern ideals of women leadership and influence with age-old traditions, meaningfully and positively. As Rivka Slonim said, Chabad philosophy has offered her the ability to look beyond the individual issues to the totality of Judaism.
Every aspect of the the organizational, educational, spiritual and social work of the Chabad Jewish Center of South Dakota, is only possible due to Mussie’s co-directorship.
This is true for the 6000+ Chabad institutions around the world. Be it a school, a shul, a mikveh, a soup kitchen, a preschool or library, and many many more, they are all jointly directed by the Chabad Rabbi and Rebbetzin in complete partnership.
Juggling the duties and responsibilities of Jewish womanhood as guided by our rich heritage and sacred traditions, of being a mother and a leader in the community, is an extremely rewarding task, and one that provides us all with a deeper sense of meaning and spirituality.
In South Dakota, we owe our thanks to Mussie.
Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz Blog
Serving the spiritual needs of the South Dakota Jewish community. Based in Sioux Falls and travels the state.