The problems with the Lubavitch

Do the Lubavitch want to give up their tax exempt status?
September 11, 2008, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Ethics, politics | Tags: ,

“McCain asks Chabad for support”


John McCain appealed to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement to support his presidential run.

Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made the appeal in a conference call Wednesday with 40 of the movement’s rabbis.

“I believe this is going to be a tough race,” he says in the report and recording posted on, which reports on news and activities within the Chabad-Lubavitch community worldwide. “We have for the first time gone ahead in the polls. But I think we are the underdog. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’d be grateful for your support; it would mean a great deal to me.”

Chabad-Lubavitch is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization and is forbidden from endorsing candidates, a status that the Shmais report stressed.

The McCain campaign initiated the call.

McCain also pledged never to “allow another Holocaust” and to keep Israel “secure and peaceful and prosperous.”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency – New York,NY,USA

Where’s that mute button? reports that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) appealed for support for his presidential campaign in a conference call Wednesday with Chabad rabbis.

The call, made at the request of McCain’s presidential campaign, included a direct solicitation, according to the report by the movement’s news service: “I’d be grateful for your support, it would mean a great deal to me.” (Here’s the recording.)

Which is a little odd: Chabad-Lubavitch is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and prohibited from political endorsements (something that Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the Washington Chabad office director, emphasizes in the report).

McCain goes on the record endorsing school vouchers and pledges, “We will never allow another Holocaust.”

Forty rabbis representing all 50 states were on the call. (Rabbi Shemtov is here in Denver, by the way, attending the Democratic Party convention. I expect to see him next week in St. Paul, Minn., for the GOP convention next week.


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