To present the teachings of the Rebbe and the preceding Chabad Rebbeim to the broadest spectrum of English readers;
To share the insights of these masters as they communicated them, not filtered through other thought structures;
To spread the wellsprings of Chassidus outward to the furthest peripheries, both geographic and in mindset – and in that way hasten the coming of the age when “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d.”
Our Target Audience:
A college student who steps into a Chabad House and wants to plumb the inner depth of this movement
A couple who are taking their first strides towards increased Jewish identity and practice, and seek guidance on their new spiritual path
A young man or woman who is studying in a yeshivah for the first time and grappling with its classic texts, and also desires to study them in a familiar language
A veteran yeshivah student who finds it easier to integrate Torah insights into his life when he reads them in English, which remains his mother tongue
A man or woman from a Lubavitch home who after a long day wants to study in the most convenient and comfortable manner
And everyone in between
In 5738 (1978), a small group of students at 770 felt a need to respond to the ever-widening circle of students and adults who identified as Lubavitcher chassidim, but could not understand the Rebbe’s talks because of the language barrier. Those students began to translate the Rebbe’s talks and to circulate them throughout the Crown Heights community.
As the demand for these translations spread, the Rebbe’s talks were sent out around the world, and there was a need to formalize the organizational process. It was then that SIE – Sichos In English – was born.
Rabbi Yonah Avtzon assumed the directorship of the organization and the primary responsibility for translation was undertaken by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger, except for the years between 5741 (1990) and 5748 (1998), when the main translators were Rabbi Yosef Loebenstein and then Rabbi Sholom Ber Hecht.
Beginning in 5746 (1986), in response to a widespread demand for the translation of earlier classic chassidic texts, Uri Kaploun and Rabbi Sholom Ber Wineberg were entrusted with this task.
From SIE’s beginnings in 5739 (1978) to 5752 (1992), the primary focus of SIE had been to communicate the Rebbe’s words to its ever-growing readership, and with the help of Fax-a-Sichah,the talks were rapidly transmitted to thousands of readers in Jewish communities throughout the world.
After 27th Adar, 5752 (1992), SIE adjusted its mission and focused on providing translations and adaptations of the Rebbe’s edited works as well as earlier classic chassidic texts, and that mission is being pursued to this day with ever-increasing vigor.