Sample underwriter’s cover letter

Dear Underwriter,


It is my sincere hope that you will spend a few minutes to read this cover letter and click on the hyperlinks before you begin your analysis of the submission package. For if you approach your underwriting assignment as you would a typical Christian Church or a typical Jewish Synagogue, you will not see things like “number of members”, “official tithing policy”, or “giving units” and you will not fully appreciate the financial strength and stability “behind” the package.


Parent Organization:  Chabad-Lubavitch is a philosophy, a movement, and an organization. It is considered to be the most dynamic force in contemporary Jewish life. Today 4,000 full-time emissary families apply 250-year-old principles and philosophy to direct more than 3,300 Chabad Houses dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people worldwide while inspiring Jew and Gentile alike to turn the moral degeneracy of today’s society into G-d Almighty’s dwelling-place.


Founder:  The unprecedented success of Chabad-Lubavitch is attributable to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory (1902-1994), the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty. He is considered to have been the most phenomenal Jewish personality of modern times. To hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers around the world, he was — and still is, despite his passing — “the Rebbe,” undoubtedly, the one individual more than any other singularly responsible for stirring the conscience and spiritual awakening of world Jewry.


Structure:  There are more than 3,300 Chabad Houses worldwide. A Chabad House is much more than a Jewish Synagogue; it is the nerve center of all the educational and outreach activities for the community it serves; from the youngsters to the elderly, and everyone in between.  Its main purpose is to make Judaism accessible and fun to a generation that has been subsumed by the secular culture at large and doesn’t know how to re-connect with its rightful inheritance that stretches back 3,326 years ago to the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.


For the most part, each of these 3,300 Chabad Houses was founded by a young Husband and Wife Team known as Schluchim, or Emissaries of The Rebbe. They arrive in their new home city with no friends or relatives, no familiar culture, atmosphere or environment. They come armed only with friendliness, affection for all people, compassion, tolerance, self-sacrifice, utter devotion and selfless dedication. They immediately begin their work of outreach-explaining, shedding light, dispelling myths, countering stereotypes. They do not “preach down” at people; they are genuine. And the revolution begins. It takes place without anyone realizing it. A few years fly by, and, “out of nowhere,” the Chabad House begins to flourish spiritually and financially.


Chabad of …..: In xxxxx, xxx, the Chabad House is  directed by Rabbi and since they founded it eleven years ago. In addition to conducting religious prayer services, they run youth programs, women’s programs, adult education, and holiday programming. As a picture is worth a thousand words, please just take a moment to scroll down their Facebook Page or Website.


Rabbi and Mrs. xxxxx supporters and friends have now come together with the required down payment to enable them to own their own Chabad House. And as Divine Providence would have it, they have located the ideal property along with a seller who is willing to help make it possible. And they can accomplish this with hardly any increase in their current rent which is approximately $3,500 per month. We anticipate that their new monthly mortgage payment won’t be very much more.


Donation Income:  With a typical Church or Synagogue, individuals and families purposely seek the benefits of membership and have already been well indoctrinated with concepts like tithing.  But for the uninitiated, the feeling of having to “pay to pray” inhibits them from ever entering a House of Worship.


The Chabad House revenue model does not include charging membership dues. Some revenue is generated from events and programming. But the majority of revenue comes from donors; both within and outside the community of the particular Chabad House.


New donor sources are cultivated over time within the community from successful business people and professionals who befriend the particular Rabbi and staff while a spark of desire is ignited to connect to something that gives real meaning and purpose to their lives. They may never become “more religious” but they love being partners in a demonstrative and meaningful way.


Many individuals who grow up “Chabad” and go through the “Chabad system” become financially successful in businesses and professions rather than choosing the “Rabbinic” route. They make it their life’s mission to support their brethren who have dedicated their lives to outreach. I being a case in point, support Chabad Houses around the world; especially “startups” in the U.S., Israel, Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America.


In the case of Chabad Lubavitch of xxxxx, Rabbi xxxxx enjoys support from a well healed and diverse group of donors from across the U.S.


In Summary:  These are the fundamentals that make the organization Chabad-Lubavitch as well as the individual Chabad Houses financially sustainable and viable. You will hardly ever hear of any Chabad institution closing its doors because the worldwide Chabad community will always come to the aide. Without exception, we the many thousands who have connected ourselves to The Rebbe view our lives in terms of our mission which is to aid the spiritual awakening of worldwide Jewry and to hasten the arrival of a new era where peace and harmony prevail for all of mankind.


I hope you have received my words with the sincerity and humility with which they were written.


Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.


Very truly yours,

Yonatan Hambourger

Shluchim Funding

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