Kfar Chabad was established in 1949 by Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn.The first inhabitants were mostly recent immigrants from the Soviet Union, survivors of World War II and Stalinist oppression. Kfar Chabad, which is located just outside Lod and about 8 km south-east of Tel Aviv, includes agricultural lands as well as numerous educational institutions. It serves as the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement in Israel. Kfar Chabad is a Lubavitch community.
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (April 5, 1902 – June 12, 1994), known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe or just the Rebbe among his followers, was a prominent Hasidic rabbi who was the seventh and last Rebbe (Hasidic leader) of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. He was fifth in a direct paternal line to the third Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneersohn. In January 1951, a year after the death of his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, he assumed the leadership of the Lubavitch movement.
He led the movement until his death in 1994, greatly expanding its worldwide activities and founding a worldwide network of institutions to spread Orthodox Judaismamong the Jewish people. These institutions include schools, kindergartens, synagogues, Chabad houses, and others, and are run under the auspices of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational branch of the Chabad movement. During his lifetime many of his followers had considered him to be the Jewish Messiah.
I had the opportunity to visit Kfar Chabad with Mr. Pini Gorelik, who offered me the chance to visit the village and know its peculiarities. I was impressed by the legacy left by the Rabbi Schneerson. I was struck by the history of sunday Dollars.
As the Chabad movement grew and more demands were placed on Rabbi Schneerson’s time, he limited his practice of meeting followers individually in his office. After his heart attack in 1977, he reduced the frequency of his twice-weekly practice of all-night Yechidut—private audiences with whomever would request an appointment, and from then until 1982 only foreign visitors, and families with a momentous occasion such as a wedding or bar-mitzva were allowed private meetings —though community leaders and Israeli government officials would also still occasionally meet with the Rebbe in private for lengthy discussions. These private audiences had generally taken place on Sundays and Thursdays, starting at 8pm and often continuing until 8am. At such private audiences he would meet over three thousand people.
In 1986,Rabbi Schneerson again began to regularly greet people individually. This time, the personal meetings took the form of a weekly receiving line in “770″. Almost every Sunday, thousands of people would line up to meet briefly with Schneerson and receive a one-dollar bill, which was to be donated to charity. People filing past Schneerson would often take this opportunity to ask him for advice or to request a blessing. This event is usually referred to as “Sunday Dollars.”