Following the overwhelming success of last year’s Tishrei with the Rebbe trip, staff of CGI UK were determined to continue the tradition. But nothing prepared them for the enthusiasm they encountered from the bochurim as Tishrei loomed closer.
Following the overwhelming success of last year’s Tishrei with the Rebbe trip, staff of CGI UK Masmidim – summer 5783 were determined to continue the tradition, hoping to make it even better than before. But nothing prepared them for the enthusiasm they encountered from the bochurim as Tishrei loomed closer.
During camp, the boys participated in an exclusive “Mivtza Hakhel”, joining a daily Hakhel shiur, learning sichos, going to mikvah daily, learning Chitas and Rambam, and more, with many bochurim starting – and continuing! – many Chassidishe Hanhagos that they were not accustomed to until now. However, as a counselor testified, “It was visible by all of the bochurim, that the entire drive of their participation, was the grand prize – a ticket to come to the Rebbe for Tishrei”. Although originally only one ticket was going to be raffled off, the excitement of the staff and campers during the raffle brought it up to a whopping 5 tickets!
As the weeks after the summer went by, and Tishrei came ever closer, the calls started pouring in from parents and bochurim alike: “Is there a Tishrei program happening this year? Is there still space? What day is the flight?” The Masmidim Staff – scattered all over the globe on Shlichus in various Yeshivos, with guidance of Rabbi Folly Dubov, who were already working on the project, started realizing that the demand for this year’s program was far more than expected.
The dedicated staff worked tirelessly to adjust their arrangements to accommodate the rapidly-growing group, arranging places to eat, sleep, mivtzoim, marbrengens and more, to give the bachurim an enjoyable and uplifting experience both Bigashmiyus and Biruchniyus during their stay by the Rebbe, and Baruch Hashem it all came together, ready with a week-long program by the time the bachurim arrived.
At last, on Tuesday, the second day of Chol HaMoed, the bachurim took off from London, and upon arrival in Crown Heights, they were met by a welcoming committee of their staff members. Not wasting any time, they made their way to 770 for maariv, followed by a delicious supper and farbrengen with Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum director of Chayolei Tzivos Hashem. They continued the night dancing by Simchas Beis Hashoeva, and then retired to their spacious quarters for some much-needed shuteye.
The next morning, and the following ones as well, the bachurim were treated to mezonos far’n davenen, and then had the zechus to daven in 770 – the Rebbe’s shul (as well as all the other tefillos throughout their stay), followed by a lavish breakfast in various sukkahs near 770, after which they set out for an exciting day of mivtzoim in various places in Manhattan.
The bachurim took the train all the way to ‘The Upper East Side’ and did mivtzoim at a scenic park on the East River shaking Lulav and Esrog with over a hundred Yidden, other mivtzoim locations included the ‘World Trade Center’, ‘Wall Street’ and ‘The Staten Island Ferry’. The mivtzoim include lots of spontaneous singing and dancing ‘Visomachta…’, including a Seder Niggunim on the Ferry Deck which turned into a grand Simchas Beis Hashoeva with many other yidden joining in the dancing!
Straight from mivtzoim the bachurim davened mincha and Maariv in 770 with a grand Seder Sichos in between, using their special ‘Kovetz Limmud’ that the Staff prepared, followed by a delicious supper and shturemdike farbrengens with Rabbi Yisroel Noach Lipsker, Rabbi Shloime Sternberg and Rabbi Motti Rubin, and then back to joining the thousands at Simchas Beis Hashoeva.
On Friday, Hoshana Rabbah, after staying up late the previous night to say the entire Tehillim as is the minhag, the group enjoyed a delicious seuda at the Sukka of Rabbi Levi Stolik who farbrenged with the bachurim about spending sukkos with the Rebbe.
The jam-packed schedule of Chol HaMoed came to its climax in the electrifying 48 hours of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, with hakafos in 770 amongst thousands of chassidim; Tahalucha to various shuls in Boro Park and Flatbush – as the Rebbe instituted – which added a lot of simcha to their hakafos, for which they were very grateful and joining the farbrengen as Yom Tov was coming to a close. The unparalleled energy made a deep impression on many of the bachurim, who had never witnessed such an atmosphere of achdus and chayus amongst Chassidim.
On Monday, Isru Chag, the group took a trip to the Ohel, for some of them the first one in their lives. Before they left, they were addressed by Rabbi Sholom Shapiro, who described to them what a day of Yechidus looked like by a chassid, and impressed upon them the importance of communicating with the Rebbe, and how the Rebbe is with us today and wants to hear from us.
Returning from the Ohel they were treated to a lavish lunch, visited the Rebbe’s library. And after joining at the Atzeres Tefillah for the safety of our dear brethren in Eretz Yisroel, they headed over to Chabad of Kensington where they farbrenged with Rabbi Folly Dubov till the wee hours of the morning, who inspired them to continue the inspiration of Tishrei by the Rebbe a whole year round, and share it with their families and friends back home.
“Seeing the tremendous hatzlacha that we experienced this year, showed us that all the effort we put into making this program a reality was really worth it,” remarked one of the staff.
A speciel thank you to the following individuals for making this program possible:
Rabbi Folly Dubov for guiding the staff, and for his valuable advice and support. Rabbi Shmuli Brown for all of his support and encouragement. Mendel Goldstein for being there for the staff and being a tremendous help whenever needed.
Thank you to the following devoted CGI UK staff: Mendel Weinbaum, Lippy Baumgarten, Reuvain Brenenson, Mendel Cunin, Shloimy Shtern, Chaim Eliyahu Sternberg, Zalman Sternberg, Nosson Shapiro and Yudi Brown who for weeks have spent many sleepless nights and put their heart and souls into making this program a success!
A big thank you to the extended Weinbaum family, Sternberg family and Brenenson family, and Chabad of Kensington for opening up their homes and sukkahs for the bachurim throughout the program, as well a tremendous yasher koach to Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin for helping us out generously with the program.
An additional thank you to Shua Slavin, the Bruchshtat and Bronstein family for providing meals at hectic hours.
May next year’s Tishrei by the Rebbe take place in Yerushalayim, when we will once again see the Rebbe dancing Hakafos!