The annual Chabad on Campus International Kinus HaShluchim was a welcome respite from the usual hustle and bustle, giving the Shluchim a much-needed spiritual and physical refresh.
There’s never a dull moment at a campus Chabad House. It’s an unabating lifestyle, with students constantly seeking guidance and meaningful experiences. At over 850 colleges and universities around the globe, Shluchim and Shluchos on campus provide that meaning, pride, and Jewish life the students so profoundly need.
The never-ending work is just that: never-ending. The devotion and sacrifice exemplified by hundreds of Shluchim and Shluchos on campuses worldwide is remarkable. Following the recent Chabad on Campus International Kinus HaShluchos, the annual Chabad on Campus International Kinus HaShluchim was a welcome respite from the usual hustle and bustle, giving the Shluchim a much-needed spiritual and physical refresh.
This year’s Kinus held unique significance, occurring in the three days preceding Gimmel Tammuz. Campus Shluchim had the opportunity to connect and prepare for the momentous day with over 160 of their fellow Shluchim.
And so, campus Shluchim from around the globe, from Vienna to Cape Town to Berkeley, gathered at the Hilton Hotel in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, for a truly memorable experience.
The Kinus began on Monday morning as the Shluchim enjoyed a complimentary welcome package, an artisanal coffee experience, and an inviting brunch buffet. First-rate amenities were in abundance throughout the Kinus. Fitness classes, shiurim, training sessions, and stellar accommodations helped the Shluchim relax, enjoy, network, and gain crucial tools to further succeed in their Shlichus.
“Observing the campus Shluchim come together during these three days,” expressed Rabbi Yossy Gordon, CEO of Chabad on Campus International, “inspires and reinforces the profound sense of family that underpins Chabad on Campus. Throughout the Kinus, one thing was unequivocal: ‘Chassidim Ein Mishpacha’—Chassidim are family. It is through the strength derived from our unity that Chassidim thrive!”
The Shluchim were given the opportunity to meet one-on-one with health professionals, Rabbonim, and Mashpiim in private mentoring sessions. Highlighting the guest mentors were health professionals Rabbi Dr. Yosef Shagalow, PsyD LP, and Chaim Drizin, LMFT, as well as renowned Rov Rabbi Chaim Rapoport and guest Mashpia Rabbi Yossi Paltiel.
“The goal is to give Shluchim a chance to connect with their fellow Shluchim on campus and recharge their batteries,” said Rabbi Avi Weinstein, COO of Chabad on Campus International. “The experience here allows the Shluchim to refresh and replenish so they can learn and grow and return to their respective campuses with the energy and knowledge required for their vital Shlichus.”
The Shluchim enjoyed innovative sessions throughout the day, culminating with an inspiring farbrengen led by the Friedman brothers, famed lecturer Rabbi Manis Friedman and world-renowned singer Avraham Fried, who both joined the Shluchim in soulful singing and poignant discussion on the unique impact of Shlichus as the farbrengen continued throughout the night.
Day Two offered various networking events and interactive sessions regarding essential elements of campus Shlichus. The topics covered included administrative practices, student engagement resources, a no-holds-barred Q&A, and a “Marry Jewish” workshop coordinated with Met at Chabad, where Shluchim learned tools and effective practices in guiding their students towards marrying Jewish.
In the evening, the Shluchim were joined by Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Chairman of the Chabad on Campus International Board of Directors, who shared a powerful message on the upcoming day of Gimmel Tammuz. The invigorating day concluded with an inspiring farbrengen led by Rabbi Yossi Paltiel, and the farbrengens continued throughout the night.
On the final day, Erev Gimmel Tammuz, started with a powerful “Hiskashrus Today” event. Together, Shluchim learned a letter from the Rebbe explaining the concept of Hiskashrus. An inspiring session followed, led by five experienced Shluchim and guest Mashpim, including Rabbi Shmuel Lew and Rabbi Sholom Ber Lipskar, who shared stories and thoughts on the impact of Hiskashrus on campus. A unique game show production was held in the afternoon, which enabled the Shluchim to learn the Rebbe’s opinions on many Shlichus matters in an interactive, fun, and engaging way.
Concluding the Kinus was the Celebratory Banquet. The approaching day of Gimmel Tammuz lent the event a distinct sense of purpose as the speakers shared moving messages on Hiskashrus and Shlichus. Highlighting the ceremony was an address from Mr. George Rohr, whose generous support underpins much of the work of Chabad on Campus. The warm and impactful lessons he shared with the campus Shluchim served as a most fitting conclusion to the Kinus.
“These Kinusim really bring out the close family connection felt by campus Shluchim worldwide,” said Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, Chabad at the University of Kansas. “To be able to farbreng together and see all the new faces of our growing global family was a truly extraordinary experience!”