It was a cold, dark, rainy night in Del Mar, CA. In a horse stable-turned-synagogue, ten Chabad Shluchim and two highly acclaimed experts brainstormed together. The pitter-patter of rain that spattered the wood roof above was persistent, but didn’t dampen the intense conversation taking place below.
I know it sounds dramatic, right?
But as I look back at that fateful night almost exactly five years ago, it was a turning point for me and eventually gave birth to 11213.org as we know it.
In 2009 many Chabad Shluchim participated in a brand new venture called Chabad E-Myth. It was spearheaded by author Michael E. Gerber (for more info about him, google E-Myth). I joined Chabad E-Myth and worked closely with Michael Gerber on several occasions while working for JLI (Jewish Learning Institute).
The first question Mr. Gerber asked the Shluchim as a professional consultant was seemingly very basic: “Please tell me the story of Chabad as you would explain it someone who walks off the street into any one of your Chabad centers.” Much to his surprise, he received many different variations, each one quite different than the next. He couldn’t understand the complete lack of clarity. He tried to approach the topic from various angles but was consistently met with confusion. He simply wanted to understand why the Shluchim were so driven and inspired to do the selfless work they committed their lives to accomplishing.
Mr. Gerber designated a group of shluchim to concisely write the story of Chabad, stressing the importance of this task and how essential it was to the overall growth of each individual Chabad House. Many shluchim questioned the importance of this work and even wondered if there was a unilateral story.
The shluchim who volunteered to take on his task were met with great challenges. For many months they went back and forth, but to no avail. There was no clarity in sight.
As a Chabad E-Myth participant, I offered to arrange for a meeting for the shluchim with Michael Gerber and Rabbi Manis Friedman to receive guidance on navigating through what was turning into a very painful process. The meeting took place n February 2010.
What transpired left everyone around the table completely awed, and inspired with a clear understanding of Chabad’s radical approach.
The footage below is simply a clip from a much longer session, but I believe it captures “The Rest Of The Story.”
After the video I included audio of a lecture entitled “Beyond Marketing” that Michael E. Gerber gave to shluchim, outlining his vision for enhancing Chabad worldwide.
P.S. Please excuse the fuzzy background noise. As I said, it was raining.
Mobile user/Download link: The Rest Of The Story (To Download: Right click link and select “Save Link As”)
Here is the audio “Beyond Marketing”:
Mobile user/Download link: Beyond Marketing (To Download: Right click link and select “Save Link As”)
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