In a significant development in the world of shlichus and the CKids program, Rabbi Sholem and Devorah Kalmenson are preparing to move to Leeds, England, to lead the local CKids chapter.
By Zelig Katzman
In a significant development in the world of Shlichus and the CKids program, a new couple is preparing to move to Leeds, England, to lead the local CKids chapter. Rabbi Sholem and Devorah Kalmenson plan to embark on their new Shlichus to Leeds this summer.
The story of Chabad of Leeds begins almost 50 years ago with Rabbi Yeremiya and Mrs. Shoshana Angyalfi, who set out to build the Jewish community from the ground up. They were soon joined by Rabbi Reuven and Ruth Cohen, who were tasked with focusing on the growth of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. Rabbi Eli and Dabrushy Pink were enlisted in 2007 to facilitate Chabad Young Professionals, pioneering the CYP movement in its early days with special events and programming for young Jewish professionals.
“We reached a point where the young professionals we were serving started getting married and having kids, and we lacked the adequate infrastructure to accommodate their needs,” said Rabbi Pink. Towards that end, a local CKids chapter was opened, which included camps, a Hebrew school, and most recently, a CKids club.
As the community continued to grow, there was a need for a dedicated couple to undertake the responsibilities of these programs and to increase enrollment and participation. Rabbi Sholem and Mrs. Devorah Leah Kalmenson visited the community and liked what they saw. An idealistic and energetic couple, they recognized the great opportunities of this Shlichus and committed to joining the team.
“We are so grateful for the privilege to open this new vista of Shlichus and to bolster CKids and by extension-the entire Jewish community of Leeds. The opportunities are enormous and we intend to fully utilize them,” says Rabbi Kalmenson. They will get to work on expanding the Hebrew School into a CKids academy after-school program, lead the summer camp and launch the local JewQ program.
“Seeing a community of young families being born out of a Chabad young professional chapter is an incredible display of the power of Shluchim to transform a community,” said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, director of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch. “We wish the new Shluchim much Hatzlachah in their new Shlichus.”
Thanks to a generous grant by CKids and Merkos, they will embark on their new Shlichus this summer. Though the grant mitigates many of the project’s costs, there is still a great need for additional funding to ensure the success of this Shlichus. To this end, an online fundraising campaign will be held on May 7-8. Titled Writing a New Chapter for Leeds, it seeks to raise £120,000 in 36 hours.
To support this worthy cause, please visit charidy.com/leeds!