Rabbi and Rebbezin Labkowski are a dynamic and highly educated young couple who moved to Oakland with no family, no contacts and no place to work. After just two years, they have created a Jewish Community which includes Reform, Conservative and Orthodox families and singles, the unaffiliated and others from around the country and from around the world. While the services and the emphasis is traditional, many of those who attend have only a little Jewish background. On the other hand, Rabbi Dovid and Shulamis provide enormous intellectual and spiritual gifts for the more observant and/or curious. We are lucky to have Chabad of Oakland.
Chabad provides a friendly community to those wishing to learn more about Judiasm, be more observant, and socialize with other Jews. I have found Chabad of Oakland to be very welcoming to all people interested in Judiasm. Their holiday celebration and meals are a wonderful opportunity for people to enjoy the holidays when away from home. But it is also nice for Oaklanders to stop by and enjoy the different holiday traditions. Celebrating Shabbat with the Chabad community in Oakland has been fun. Many times, people from out of town stop by and share Shabbat. It is an opportunity to learn about how Shabbat is celebrated in other communities and other parts of the world. I have met many nice people at Shabbat dinners at Chabad of Oakland. Chabad has never asked me for a donation. However, I have happily voluteered donations over the years because they deserve and need support for the wonderful work they are doing in Oakland.
I have experienced many different Jewish holidays and attend a weekly learning session with the Rabbi. The Rabbi & his wife and whole family are warm, giving, caring, learned people who clearly care about transmitting Jewish learning, values without preconditions. I have attended shabbat dinners, weekly study sessions, holiday celebrations. All are quite lovely and incredibly they ask for nothing in return. Your interest in Judaism is their reward, OK so if you are so moved and in a position to donate some sheckles OK, and you will learn of the mitzvah but they do not demand it.