Chabad Leverages Social Media Presence for Big Bucks

Chabad has a long history of harnessing its considerable social media influence to generate results in varied competitions. The latest, the Kohl’s Cares competition, where $10 million will be given to the top 20 schools with the most votes on Facebook. Currently, these top 20 slots are dominated by twelve Jewish schools and led by the Chabad-Lubavitch network (with 8 schools out of the 12 – see  list below). The competition runs through September 3rd.

Each of the top 20 schools will receive $500,000. Voting is open to anyone with a Facebook account who “likes” Kohl’s or is a “fan.” Each person is allowed up to 20 votes, with a maximum of five votes for any individual school. All nonprofit public, private and charter schools with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status are eligible to participate.

The $10 million in prize money is being donated in honor of the 10th anniversary of Kohl’s Cares LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kohl’s Department Stores. The philanthropic program supports children’s health and education initiatives in communities throughout the United States. According to a press release issued by the company, this program is part of a Back-to-School campaign.

Earlier this year, Chabad’s Friendship Circle, an organization dedicated to helping children with special needs, was the sole Jewish organization to win the Chase Community Giving Facebook competition, coming in at third place with a prize worth $100,000.

Last month, Chase ran the competition again and this time 17 Chabad-Lubavitch programs each received $20,000.

While Chabad-Lubavitch’s main Facebook page has more than 13,000 fans and an additional 3,000 on Twitter, the combined social media network (or as Facebook refers to it, social graph) of local Chabad emissaries carries much more.

Here’s how the Kohl’s Care competition is shaping up:

  1. Silverstein Hebrew Academy (Chabad) Great Neck, New York 71,993 Votes
  2. Hebrew Academy Community School (Chabad) Margate, Florida 62,324 votes
  3. Chabad Hebrew Academy (Chabad) San Diego, California 60,090 votes
  4. Jewish School Of The Arts (Jewish) North Palm Beach Florida, Florida 58,930 votes
  5. Cheder Menachem (Chabad) Los Angeles, California 56,400 votes
  6. Netan Eli Hebrew Academy (Jewish) Reseda, California 54,199 votes
  7. Lake High School Millbury, Ohio 53,341 votes
  8. Lucas Christian Academy Lucas, Texas 51,237 votes
  9. Rohr Bais Chaya Academy (Chabad) Tamarac, Florida 50,314 votes
  10. Jets Jewish Educational Trading School (Jewish) Granada Hills, California 49,539 votes
  11. Zimmerman School House Dba Abi’s Place (Jewish) Coral Springs, Florida 47,902 votes
  12. Pius X High School Lincoln, Nebraska 47,784 votes
  13. Good Shepherd Christian Academy Fairfax, Virginia 45,109 votes
  14. Charlotte Jewish Day School (Chabad) Charlotte, North Carolina 45,070 votes
  15. Bais Chaya Mushka School (Girls) (Chabad) Los Angeles, California 44,380 votes
  16. Hebrew Academy (Chabad) Huntington Beach, California 43,414 votes
  17. Mooseheart School Mooseheart, Illinois 42,682 votes
  18. Spartanburg Charter School Spartanburg, South Carolina 41,947 votes
  19. St Clement Coptic Orthodox Christian Academy Nashville, Tennessee 41,490 votes
  20. Mount Ellis Academy Bozeman, Montana 40,951 votes