770 Eastern Parkway (Hebrew: 770 איסטרן פארקווי), also known as "770", is the street address of the central headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, located on Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York, in the United States. The building is the center of the Chabad-Lubavitch world movement, and considered by many to be an iconic site in Judaism.
The house, in Gothic revival style, was built in the 1930s and originally served as a medical center. In 1940, with the assistance of Jacob Rutstein and his son Nathan Rothstein, the building was purchased by Agudas Chasidei Chabad on behalf of the Chabad Lubavitch movement and as a home for Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn. Rabbi Schneersohn was paralyzed and required a wheelchair when he arrived in the United States in 1940. A building with an elevator needed to be purchased for his use as both a home and as a synagogue.
During the 1940s, the building, which soon became known as 770 became the hub and central location for Chabad. It served as the main Chabad synagogue, a Yeshiva and offices for the Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch. Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn lived in an apartment on the second floor. When Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn arrived from Poland to New York in 1941, his father-in-law appointed him as chairman of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch. The younger Rabbi Schneerson's office was located on the first floor of 770 near the synagogue.
After Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok's passing in January 1950, his son-in-law and successor, Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, continued to use his own office on the main floor to lead the movement, while maintaining his personal residence on President Street, several blocks away. Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok's wife remained resident in her apartment on the second floor until her death. Her two daughters would often visit her in her apartment, and during her lifetime the new Rebbe would conduct semi-private meals there for the family and selected visitors on festive occasions. Today, the previous Rebbe's apartment and office are closed to the public. Since 1994, Rabbi Menachem Mendel's office on the first floor is used on Shabbat and Jewish holidays as an additional prayer room open to the public during prayer times.
From its inception the synagogue has served three parallel purposes. It is a place of daily prayer services, a study hall for advanced students, and an assembly hall for Chabad gatherings, known as Farbrengens. Here the Lubavitcher Rebbe or elder Chassidim would address Chassidim and other visitors about Torah observance and Chassidic philosophy and practice.
As the Lubavitch movement grew in the United States, the original synagogue became too small to house the chasidim and students who came to pray and study there. The synagogue was expanded in several stages. The first annex was added in 1960, with subsequent expansions taking place in the late 1960s and again in the mid-1970s. The synagogue then reached its current size. The original synagogue remains as a small study hall used by rabbinical students during the week. In 1988, Rabbi Schneersohn laid the cornerstone for an ongoing renovation project.
The original building is part of a larger block maintained by the Agudas Chasidei Chabad. This block includes the larger synagogue, a Kollel (Kollel Tiferes Zekeinim), and the community's library. It also houses the offices of the secretariat of the Lubavitch Movement and other offices.
770 is an iconic site considered holy by members of the Chabad movement. It attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every year. The building is recognized as an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, which is open to all people, with a men's section on the ground floor and a women's section on the floor above it. On the Shabbat and holidays, smaller prayer groups can be found congregating throughout the building, including the lobby and office used by the Rebbe within the original 770 building.
The synagogue's official name is "Congregation Lubavitch of Agudas Chasidei Chabad", although it is referred to by several other names throughout the worldwide Chabad community, including: Beis Moshiach ("Messiah's House") and Beis Rabeinu ShebeBovel ("House of our Teacher in Babylon").
The building contains a Yeshiva with approximately 1000 students. The Yeshiva is a part of a group of Yeshivot called Tomchei Temimim, started by the 5th Chabad Rebbe Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneersohn of Lubavitch.
After the 6th Rebbe Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn moved to the United States, within 24 hours he opened a yeshiva branch. Starting with 10 students, the Yeshiva quickly grew at 770 Eastern Parkway, so that they needed to expand to other locations. This gave rise to the group known as "United Lubavitcher Yeshivas."
Lubavitch Chassidim attaches great significance to everything that played a role in the Rebbe's life; therefore, Lubavitch Chassidim all over the world have built replicas or near-replicas of the building. These include replicas in Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem and Kfar Chabad in Israel. UCLA Chabad House at UCLA Los Angeles, California; Chabad House at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey; Congregation Ahavat Shalom in Ocean City, Maryland; in Los Angeles, California; in St Kilda East, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia; in Milan, Italy; in Brazil; and in Argentina.
Tzedakah boxes and Mezuzah cases have been decorated with pictures of the building. Joseph Zakon Wineries in New York City makes a wine called "Seven-seventy". In the early 1990s, Chabad bar-mitzvah boys began using tefillin bags with an embroidered picture of seven-seventy.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson described 770 as "Beis Rabbenu ShebeBovel" ("house of our teacher in Babylon"), "And we may explain, according the above, that as regards 'our teacher's house in Babylonian' in this generation-it means the home and synagogue of my holy father-in-law, the leader of our generation... 'Our teacher's house' is the primary 'little Temple' in this last exile ... which is the place of the future Temple itself, and not only that, but there will be revealed the future Bais Hamikdash, and from there it will go to Jerusalem. This idea is suggested in the name of 'our teacher's house' in our generation: ... it is universally referred to by its number, 770, which has the same gematria as paratzta (you will spread out)."
Zalman Jaffe was a lay leader in Manchester, England and had a very close relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in his book "My Encounter with the Rebbe", he relates that, "I found a Tehillim in 770 which, on the front piece, was inscribed, 'The gematria of Beis Moshiach (the house of Moshiach) is 770.' I showed it to the Rebbe who laughed heartily." Later the Rebbe himself pointed out this gematria in a footnote in the famous "Kuntres B'inyan Mikdash Ma'at"