April 18, 2024
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Annual Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Shluchim Focuses on Achdut

Annual group photo. (Credit: חיים טויטו Chaiim Tuito Kinus.com)

(Courtesy of Chabad Intl) In a tremendous public display of Jewish pride, thousands of rabbis posed for the iconic annual group photo in front of the Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters in Brooklyn on Sunday morning, November. 12. They were among the 6,500 rabbis and Jewish leaders visiting New York from more than 100 countries for the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries.

(l-r) Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz of Chabad of West Orange, Rabbi Yossi Spalter of Chabad of Montville. (Courtesy of Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz)

“In the face of current adversities, many Jews have discovered a newfound feeling of connection to their faith and identity,” said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, at the conference. “The shluchim have been tirelessly at the forefront, fortifying the spirit and resilience of their communities. This year’s kinus [conference] comes at a critical moment in the history of our people, and we hope it serves as a source of energy, connection and vision for the future.”

(l-r) Rabbi Levi Neubort of Chabad Lubavitch of Fair Lawn, Rabbi Mordechai Shain of Lubavitch of the Palisades, Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz of Chabad of West Orange.  (Courtesy of Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz)

The gala banquet on Sunday was held at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison, and included a live prayer from the Kotel; Chabad emissaries sharing what life is like on the frontlines and in border cities across Israel; a message from Chabad rabbis serving in the IDF reserves; a discussion of Jewish life on campus at this fraught time; three generations of Chabad emissaries who went to the southern border city of Sderot; and a memorial service for the kedoshim. It began at 1:30 p.m. rather than the usual evening start time so that it could be livestreamed to the gala held simultaneously in Israel at the Binyanei HaUma International Convention Center in Jerusalem. The 1,400 Chabad emissaries serving in Israel joined the conference remotely this year, so that they could stay with their communities during this difficult time.

Rabbi Mendel Solomon of Chabad of Short Hills (second from left) with members of his Short Hills community, who joined him at the kinus.
(Courtesy of Rabbi Mendel Solomon) 
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