[Transcript of interview with Rabbi Mendy Harlig by Barbara Tabach, October 18, 2017]. Harlig, Mendy Interview, 2017 October 18. OH-03253. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
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An Interview with Rabbi Mendy Harlig An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ©Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers and Editors: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White 11 The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first- person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas m Preface Known throughout the Las Vegas community as Rabbi Mendy, Mendy Harlig is a leader of the Chabad in Las Vegas, which was introduced to the valley in 1990 by his brother Rabbi Shea Harlig. Since his youth spent growing up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, where he was surrounded by Hasidic Jews, Rabbi Mendy seemed destined to become a Chabad rabbi. During the early 1990s he often visited Las Vegas and assisted his brother at the Chabad of Southern Nevada. Then in 1997 he met and married Chaya Harlig and the couple permanently relocated to the valley to be the spiritual leaders of the Chabad of Green Valley. As their family grew, so did their importance to the Chabad movement in Las Vegas. During this interview, Rabbi Mendy touches upon the nature of Chabad teachings and observance in the so-called “Sin City” persona of Las Vegas. He also shares about his participation in the Las Vegas Metro Chaplaincy program. He particularly reflective of his active role immediately after of the horror of the October 1 mass casualty at the Route 91 country music festival and his perspectives afterwards. IV Table of Contents Interview with Rabbi Mendy Harlig October 18, 2017 and November 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface iv SESSION 1 Talks about his Hasidic background and place of birth, Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York; attended Yeshiva; decision to become a rabbi; the Chabad movement and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. How he met his wife, Chaya, who is the rebbetzin and co-director of the Chabad in Henderson; his brother Rabbi Shea Harlig led the way for Chabad coming to Las Vegas in 1990 and he followed permanently in 1998 after his marriage to Chaya. Discusses his world travels as practiced his rabbinical life; knowing he wanted to settle in Las Vegas; mentions Rebbe Schneerson..........................................................................1-9 Impressions of Las Vegas in 1990s; Rabbi Schneerson allowing expansion of Chabad into Las Vegas; mentions Rabbi Baruch Shlomo Eliyahu Cunin. Talks about first location for his Chabad in his home; upcoming move to a parcel of land on Horizon Ridge and Carnegie streets and living within walking distance. Determines there are about nine Chabad congregations in Las Vegas valley; room for growth; his mission to help people on their Jewish “journey;” how Chabad differs from Conservative or Reform Judaism and can be meaningful........................10-17 Talks about raising his eight children (seven were born here) in Las Vegas); their education at Desert Torah Academy; sending them to Yeshiva; no television. Mentions actor Tony Curtis and his passing; annual tradition of Menorah Lighting service at the District at Green Valley; comedians Shecky Greene, Marty Allen; community involvement such as visiting Jewish patients at St. Rose Hospital; nursing home visits; no membership fees at Chabad..........18-22 SESSION 2 Provides more details about his ancestral background; mother grew up in Israel; father’s father was a rabbi in Vienna; parents met in New York; Lubavitcher Rebbe followers. Anecdotes of being a volunteer chaplain for the Las Vegas Metro Police. Describes his work supervising the packaging and making of kosher food locally (Ocean Spray/Tree Top, Fresh Farm Foods); maintaining kosher status at Strip hotel kitchens (E.g. Four Seasons, MGM properties) and Touro University...23 - 30 v Reflects on variety of Jews and Jewish congregations in Las Vegas; friendships with other rabbis such as Rabbi Akselrad; local Chabad School; impact of cell phones, social media, and more about ban on television in his home; Hasidic traditions related to death and burial, tahara service, thoughts regarding cremation, organ donors, counseling grieving people. Talks about Metro’s chaplaincy program, being the Jewish representative, Steve Riback, PEAP [Police Employees Assistance Program.].......................................................................30-40 Focuses on October 1, 2017 mass casualty shooting at Route 91 music festival on the Strip; how he learned of the news; his response; where he went to provide counseling. Mentions article he wrote for the Israelite newspaper [Oct. 13, 2017]about his experiences immediately after and over the course of the subsequent weeks; how PEAP cares for Metro officers; community needs and healing; his hope for “proper balance” for individuals; anecdotes and observations surrounding the event from his perspective.................................................................41-54 Talks about recent JFS A trip to Germany, and France; daughter in Israel; Cantor Jessica Hutchings. Talks about PTSD for police officers after October 1; Chabad’s apolitical positioning on gun ownership; trying to achieve his own personal life balance; autism of one of his sons......54-60 vi Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project UNLY University Libraries Use Agreement Name of Narrator: PlGHby Name of Interviewer: We, the above named, give to the Oral History Research Center of UNLV, the recorded interview(s) initiated on 10 -']¥?'<3.0tH along with typed transcripts as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes as shall be determined, and transfer to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude the right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. I understand that my interview will be made available to researchers and may be quoted from, published, distributed, placed on the Internet or broadcast in any medium that the Oral History Research Center and UNLV Libraries deem appropriate including future forms of electronic and digital media. Signature of Interviewer Date Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, NV 89154-7010 702.895.2222 Vll SESSION 1 Today is October 18th, 2017. This is Barbara Tabach and I am sitting with Rabbi Mendy. I'll ask you first to spell your name. It's Rabbi Mendy, M-E-N-D-Y. Last name Harlig, H-A-R-L-I-G. We are sitting in the Green Valley Chabad. Did I say that right? Yes, Chabad. I'm really practicing. You're really good. We are sitting today for the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project and get your history. Tell me about your background; where you grew up, your family, whatever. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, born and raised. I was born at home. At home? Yes, because I had no patience to wait. So I was bom February 11th, 1973.1 was bom and raised in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. What was that neighborhood like? Basically, it was a Hasidic neighborhood and it was also a neighborhood of people like African Americans and people from Haiti. We had basically Jewish people—Orthodox people, but when I was growing up also it had African Americans. Was your education in the neighborhood or was it religious schooling? What was it like? I grew up Orthodox. I grew up Hasidic. My parents are both Hasidic. My grandfather was a rabbi in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. My father was involved in the big synagogue in Brooklyn, 77 Eastern Parkway. They had a Chabad-Lubavitch movement and I went to their private schools; it's called Yeshiva and I went to Yeshiva there in Brooklyn, New York. I went there up to age 1 nineteen. Then at nineteen I went and studied for a year in New England Hebrew Academy; that was in Brookline, Mass. That was 1994 — that is when I studied in New England Hebrew Academy. Then I came back to Brooklyn to study in the Central Yeshiva Chabad School where I got ordained as a rabbi in 1996. When did you know you wanted to be a rabbi? I think there's a rabbi and then there's a Chabad rabbi. In most of your synagogues, you have a rabbi that is hired by a board of directors. The board interviews him, they like him, and then he comes and does his job. He has days off. A lot of people do the different parts of the congregation. So that's one part of a rabbi. Chabad rabbi, it's a calling, actually, and it's twenty-four-seven. It's being a rabbi, I think, and more. It's twenty-four-seven for the people, or if there's any need that needs to be done, they'll do it—visiting hospitals or visiting the jails or visiting the police or assisted livings or any part. When did I know? From a very young age because as the head of the Chabad movement, Rabbi [Menachem Mendel] Schneerson, he inspired us from little children on. It started in 1950, when he took over the leadership of the Chabad movement—we're going to try to reach every single Jewish person. Then it was like a joke, in 1950. It was just after the Holocaust. Jewish people were really down, had lost family members, lost everything, and he's saying in a small, little synagogue in Brooklyn, "I'm taking over as the leader especially of the Chabad movement and we're going to reach every single Jew in the world." The little bit you know about Chabad today: where we're in ninety different countries, I think, and five thousand Chabad rabbis. He taught us—and I talk for myself—to love of another human being. He taught us unconditional love for another human being. I think it's connected to 2 a rabbi. Rabbis, if they really want to be a good rabbi, they have to have unconditional love for another human being. He instilled in us—and I also grew up right next to him because my father was very involved in the synagogue—he instilled in us this great passion. I watched him, how he loved, and every Jew to him was like a diamond. He portrayed it to me and to all the Chabad rabbis. It was formed from very young. What kind of work was your father in? He was involved in the congregation of the synagogue, not a rabbi, but more involved in overseeing things there and the congregation. So he was employed? That was his source of income. Correct. How many children were in your family? Seven. Where do you come in that line? I think I'm number five. You think? Yes, five. How much of that family lives here in Vegas now? I have one brother and he has some of his children that are living here and then me. All of us are rabbis; my three other brothers are rabbis, Chabad rabbis, and my sisters are married to rabbis. But as a rabbi, I would say my wife [Chaya Harlig] is my co-director of the Chabad. At Chabad women play an equal role in—I wouldn't say running the organization, but overseeing the needs of the Jewish community. That's interesting. So when you get married and you're choosing your life partner and 3 you’re into this as a career together. The answer to the question—that is correct. In Brooklyn when you date, before you even start dating because it is very brief, but we date three weeks, three and a half weeks. That's it? Yes. I dated three and a half weeks. From when I said hi to my wife until I asked her will you marry me, it was three and a half weeks. I made a conversation with her for a day, but three and a half weeks. When we dated we knew we were both serious about marriage. We knew we wanted to get married and we wanted to have children. We even knew what we wanted to do. We wanted to go and join the Chabad army of emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. We knew probably we were going to move here because I was coming here for so many years. Was this because your brother Shea was here already? That's correct. I came here in 1990 a few months after my brother, Rabbi [Shea] Harlig, moved here, to help out as; I would say as a rabbi in training. So the first time I came here was 1991, Passover. He came in 1990.. in October, November, High Holidays. I came down six months after that at Passover for a visit. I spent two weeks and so it went for the next few years; I would come two or three times a year, spending three, four weeks here. When did you move here permanently then? In August of 1998. You got married in what year? In 1997, February of 1997. In fact, there was a big delegation from Las Vegas that came to my wedding. I’ll find a picture for you. Twenty-five people came. That's pretty nice. Twenty-five people from the community came. Because I was coming here so often, they felt 4 connected to me and to our family. When you would visit would you participate in the services? I would be like an assistant rabbi to my brother, helping out with programming. I would come for High Holidays, but I would stay for a month. I would come for Passover and stay for a month. Passover is two weeks, but before a few weeks and afterwards I would come. During the summer camp here, I would help out. I did the winter camps here. Where were the camps? Camps were with the synagogue at 1261 South Arville, my brother's synagogue and that campus. Now it's already torn down and built up again. At that time, between '91 and '98, was there only the one Chabad? That is correct. In 1994 they opened up a new Chabad, the Chabad of Summerlin, Rabbi Schanowitz. I think I would say for High Holidays 1994 he opened. Now there's how many? There's several, right? Georgia, how many Chabad houses? I'm going to ask her (his administrative assistant) questions while we're talking. Georgia, how many Chabad centers are there in Las Vegas? Eight or nine? GEORGIA: There's eight or nine. I thought I had heard around eight. I didn't know if it had climbed from that or not. Well, Chabad at Red Rock is the newest. Is that number eight? I think it's nine. I think it's eight. Is that typical -- that the Chabad movement grows like that? Absolutely. The reason I moved to Henderson is because Henderson was growing in 1998 and 5 there was a need for Chabad here. I'm called Chabad at Green Valley and the reason is because at that time—were you living here at that time? Yes. In 1998, if you were a doctor and you wanted to service a community, you had on your business card two locations; it said Summerlin and Green Valley, so that was it. Henderson was like that then, so that's why we're kind of in the midst of changing it to Chabad of Henderson. But because that's what it was, you had Chabad of Summerlin, like doctors would have an office at Summerlin, and Chabad at Green Valley. Where was your first location? In our home on Wigwam and Pecos. How many people would come for services? Are services every day? We had it on the weekends then in our home. It was a perfect home. We had an upstairs and right upstairs we had this huge family room and you could seat twenty or thirty people in there and that's where we did services. We had some parking where there was no one's homes, so people could park around the comer and not bother anybody, and we did it through our home. Of course, when we had the High Holidays and we had Passover, we'd go to a local hotel. How did people hear about you? I guess through the newspapers and through meeting people. So word of mouth. Word of mouth, correct. As you settled into Las Vegas and Henderson, how did your feelings evolve? How did you feel like you were fitting into the community? Interesting. From 1990 when first I came, until ultimately when I moved here in 1998, besides 6 coming here there were times that I spent in other places around the world doing outreach— Russia, Ukraine. I went to Japan and did a communal Seder. I went to South Africa. I was all over to do outreach. I went to Ireland to visit Jewish families for five weeks one summer. I always felt the connection; I always felt a special connection to the Las Vegas community. I always loved Las Vegas, not because of the Strip. One or two times I saw it and got it out of my system like all of us. When we have family that come now, we give them the car and say, "Park there; it's free." We're not going there. There's so many hotels I've never been in on the Strip. So I always felt the connection to people before when I was constantly coming to visit; hence, twenty-five people coming to your wedding, flying from Las Vegas to New York on America West Airlines. America West, wow. A blessed memory. That is funny. Right? Yes, yes. I don't know if that answered your question. Yes. Then how else did you involve yourself in the community? Let me just say one part. An interesting thing. In the summer of 1996, the Chabad of Southern Nevada, my brother did a summer camp. I wasn't here that summer; that was the summer I was in Ireland. And that summer there was a head counselor—also they bring like five or six girls from New York to kind of infuse—sixteen-, seventeen-, eighteen-year-olds—to infuse energy into the camp. You go from New York, you go to summer camps and this was a day camp. The camp is for children? 7 For children at the Chabad of Southern Nevada, but the staff are usually brought in from New York. At the end of the summer of 1996, my sister-in-law, Rabbi Harlig's wife...I was coming for the High Holidays then. My sister just got married in New York before summer, so it was my turn up for marriage. My sister-in-law suggested there was a wonderful girl that was the head counselor that ran the camp and she thought it would be a good match for me, so she suggested that match although that girl already went back to New York because that's where she lived. She grew up in the same neighborhood as I did, went to the same schools, the girls' schools in the neighborhood. She suggested that we go on a date. I was here for the High Holidays and I was very nervous before and I was there for the circus like all the holidays. When I got back to New York, it was kind of set up already that I would call her and we would date, and that's what happened. I came back on a Thursday or something and I called her on Sunday, exactly around this time of year, these days in the Hebrew calendar. So basically because she was here in the summer, she thought it would be a good idea for me and she was the matchmaker that kind of set us up for us to date. We dated for three and a half weeks. Although the Hasidic community is small especially then, people know each other. Both families knew of each other, but they weren't close. That's how my match came about. Now, my wife interestingly says the story was she had the opportunity for summer plans to go to Las Vegas to do the summer camp or Florida was another opportunity. She thought to herself, I can go to Florida any time. When am I ever going to get back to Las Vegas? She chose to do the summer camp in Las Vegas. God has other plans, little did she know. What kind of educational background did Chaya have? She went through eighth grade in New York. She spent four years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in Yeshiva, in a school there, and then went past high school for a year and studied for a two-year 8 study in Montreal, Canada in a Yeshiva. There’s a real international flare to your background and the experiences you’ve had. Correct. You said you went to Russia, Japan, South Africa. What kind of Jewish communities in Orthodoxy do you find in those countries? It depends where. In Japan I went to Kobe. There was a synagogue there, but it was not too many people even there, few people came. There were a lot of Israelis there. We made a Seder out of about a hundred and fifty people - the Seder was a lot of Israelis. They finished the army and so much pressure they just want to go free. A lot of them came to the Seder. We had some servicemen, I don't remember today from where, maybe two or three hours they came by train to have a Seder in Kobe with us. It was two boys; we had to take all our food with us. There was a synagogue, but there was nothing really at that time organized. I think there's a Chabad rabbi there now, but there was nothing. That's why they sent young Yeshiva boys to these places because, otherwise, they wouldn't have a Seder there for those people. That's your purpose, your mission is to— Yes, that's why I went there. In Ireland, also, there was a Jewish population, but it was fading. People were moving out of Ireland. We spent most of our time in Dublin. People were moving away — moving away, I think, to Manchester. So there was Orthodox there, history there, and then we went to small cities to visit where there wasn't. Only the major city was there a formal synagogue. In Russia, I did a summer camp in Ukraine and there was a lot of synagogues there. Communism just fell, so it was giving the kids a Jewish experience there. There was a Chabad rabbi there, so we kind of helped him out. 9 What did you know about the Jewish community of Las Vegas other than what Rabbi Harlig was experiencing? In 1990 orin '99? During any period of time, what did you know--? When my brother moved here, very little. We knew that it was a bad place, Sin City. It was also interesting that the Rebbe, as we know Rabbi Schneerson, the head of the Chabad movement, was for many years adamantly against opening a Chabad here. They wanted to open up years before and the Rebbe said, "Out of the question." My brother can answer you all those details. He could give more of the actual details with him. The Rebbe said to do something about it and that's when Rebbe instructed the head Chabad rabbi of the West Coast from California, Rabbi [Baruch Shlomo Eliyahu] Cunin is his name, that he should do something about hiring a Chabad rabbi. My brother was looking at that time to become a Chabad rabbi and he went and checked it out and felt that was the place for him. So until then, when my brother was moving here, I just knew it as far... After I started coming here, I start learning about the community; learning about the Jewish people that are involved in the community. Everyone knows first the Jewish people that had owned the casinos. Then you start learning a little bit about the big Jewish players here in the community, slowly learn about it. Then you get to meet the people. Was this location the first outside of your home? This was the first. Just for the record we’re sitting—it’s on Eastern Avenue. We’re at 10870 South Eastern Avenue, Suite 104, Henderson, Nevada, 89052. So you have been in this location how long? 10 Since 2003. That's a number of years. You now are in the process of building? Correct. You've got land that's on Carnegie. And Horizon Ridge, correct. That's just up the street from me, where I live. I can walk right by it...We're taking photographs, periodically, of the construction. I appreciate it, thank you. I'll pay you for it. No, you don't have to pay for it. Your contribution to the project is enough. Thank you. But, yes, we’re documenting how that happens as part of our Jewish project. I'm going to be a neighbor (to you) next week; I'm moving.. I'm moving into Carriage Hills. I see. You mean your house, where you live. Yes. I live now behind the Black Mountain Grill, so not within walking distance. Talk about the walking distance for people that don't understand that. Usually what will happens is, because we're observant Jewish, we need to be within walking distance of our synagogue, so we'll always live as close as possible to the synagogue. The fact now the synagogue is not so far, but for me to walk from my house, it's probably a forty-minute walk. That's why I have to move. It's hard to find a good piece of land for a synagogue, but it's easy to find houses. So I'm going to be moving. You will be my backyard neighbor. Correct. You know the streets in there? If you walk down around the corner from the gate that goes out to Siena. 11 Oh, okay, I know where you’re at. Calendula. Come find me. So the selection of where you located the synagogue, right? Right. Shul, synagogue. Synagogue is fine. So the physical location on Carnegie—how did you select or find that parcel of land? Again, I think everything takes time. We are outgrowing this place. We're in the process of taking the next step of getting our permanent home. See, the difference again with Chabad and with other synagogues is they hire a rabbi. When I moved here with my wife, it's me, my wife and my daughter. I will tell you that we literally built this Chabad Hasidic community one by one, every single person I brought in, me or my wife. Friends from people in congregations bring people in, but ultimately we build a congregation. All Chabad rabbis are that way. With Shea Harlig, my brother, we built it. I have a few jokes with that. Some jokes? I said, no one hired me, so nobody can fire me. It’s very entrepreneurial. Right. But I'm not looking to get fired. So that location— So we were looking. We had this whole project we had that there was going to be a building somewhere in the area here and this came available. We had our options and we felt this was the place for the permanent home of the Chabad. I think I asked Rabbi Harlig this, too, about the neighborhood, the surrounding community. Have you ever had any pushback, any bias that you’ve had to deal with? I think it depends on the place, but this city was very supportive of it. There were some 12 neighbors that were kvetching. I found out they live four blocks away, ten blocks away. Kvetching, "They're moving the cars." They didn't realize that putting a synagogue there will make their properties go up because people are going to look for houses in that area. I tried to explain it to them and they wouldn't hear it. But this city was very—we went to just the regular planning commission because it's all zoned correctly. There's nothing to do; it's all zoned correctly. I think according to the law you cannot stop a house of worship anywhere, I think. I'm not familiar with it. And you don't have to worry about parking because most of the time people are walking. Correct. We usually do that, give us less parking because of people walking. I think it's brilliant. We were happy to see that you were moving (to that empty corner.) A lot of people are. The neighbors weren't because they were worried what was going to go in there. They spoke of different projects; it would be doctors' offices, marijuana, whatever. I think, ultimately, they're all happy. When we did the groundbreaking the neighbors came, "Thank you; we're happy; good luck." I think it's wonderful. We live in the community. We're living there, so I'm not going to put my temple there, make trouble, and go live in Summerlin. This is where our community is. You'll move into that location—just describe the project, I guess. We're going to move into that location in about a month. I think we'll go into trailers and then we'll move on from there. Is there a school attached or in the future? Of course, there's going to be a preschool. We have a synagogue, social hall, library. We're also going to put a mikveh in there; it is a ritual bath that is connected with the Bible, 13 commandments, so a mikveh. Because there's no mikveh in Henderson, is there? Correct. I remember giving money to somebody who was going to build a mikveh, but I don't remember whatever happened to that. I'm not sure. [Gloria returns to the conversation with the count of Chabads in Las Vegas valley: ] GLORIA. There’s nine or ten, but some of them are different names, but they're attached to the Arville address. It depends. Which one? Like Chabad of Red Rock is still attached to It's considered a synagogue because he does programs. Right, but the addresses are the same. What other ones are there? Either he's the eighth or the ninth. Do you think there's room for growth? If you look in California, there's probably a Chabad every two, three miles. So the answer to the question is, how many Jews are in Las Vegas? I hear a wide range of numbers. I did a presentation last night with Jewish Nevada and they lowered it to fifty or sixty thousand. Okay, fifty thousand. How many affiliated? Less than one percent. 14 So we've got plenty of work to do. So if you're asking me, of course, there's going to be. Are there increasing number of rabbis that want to be involved in that? The answer to your question is yes. There's today Chabad rabbis that can't find places. But, again, it has to be done correctly. Will I see it growing? Absolutely. Where? Today they're going in very small communities. Can we put one in Southern Highlands? Very possible. What else do people need to know about (when) a Chabad is moving into their neighborhood? The walking. Again, you would see them walking. Maybe you see a sukkah in back of their house for the holiday. Otherwise, we just do regular other stuff that people do; taking kids to school, take them to drumming lessons, give them an education; the regular stuff that we do that anybody else would do. One of the other things that I’ve come across in the interviews, some people will have an affiliation with one of the other synagogues—Reform, Conservative, whatever—but also a place in their life for Chabad. Correct. Why do you think that happens? How does that fulfill their spiritual being? I would say that my feeling is that Chabad is not just a synagogue. Chabad offers everything. — If someone needs an interview, we'll do the interview. That was a little joke. - But the answer is: we offer classes, social work, social services. Back to the second thing, genuine caring. Any person that I meet in my life, I develop a connection. There's a reason that we met and I'll always keep a connection with them, Jew, even non-Jew. I keep in contact with them, know about them. Back to the genuine caring for another human being, I think that's what they feel, nonjudgmental-ness. So if somebody meets a Chabad rabbi, they're thinking Orthodox, they're 15 going to judge me. Once we meet them—we're the least judgmental. So I'll ask a really personal question. Please, take it away. I usually don't insert my personal stuff, but I’m actually converting. I raised my children Jewish. My husband and I have been married for other thirty years and both kids were converted. I just never did it. Where would I fit in, in a Chabad? What I look at it is: I'll help any person on their journey. So if somebody comes and they want to convert, I'll give them the information and maybe—I don't like to use the word Orthodox— maybe the observant way is too much for them. It's not about be a member here or else. I'll just try to help people on their journey. Where that leads, I'm not sure. If someone wan