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HELENA, Mont. – Two young Orthodox rabbis have traded their studies in Brooklyn for the back roads of Montana, where they are teaching the far-flung faithful how to keep kosher.
Eli Chaikin, 23, and Dovid Lepkivker, 25, call themselves the roving rabbis. Their mission is to reach as many of the state's approximately 3,000 Jews as they can in a month. They have visited more than 60 homes since July 7.
Their message is a gentle one in what are at best loosely organized Jewish communities where relatively few people strictly follow the dietary laws.
Chaikin says any step a person makes is positive.
Chaikin and Lepkivker are affiliated with Chabad-Lubavich movement. Chabad's Bozeman-based rabbi, Chaim Bruk, said he invited them to help him honor the 40th anniversary of a campaign to promote observance of the kosher laws.