Illinois Shluchim Gather to Prepare for Gimmel Tammuz

By Reporter

Imagine a room buzzing with more than 500 years of combined experience in serving the Jewish community. Rabbis, teachers, rebbetzins, campus shluchim, all gathered under one roof in preparation for Gimmel Tammuz.

Now throw in – keyn ayin hara – close to 200 children from newborns to teenagers and you have a picture of the Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois kinus held this week in Chicago.  The kinus was hosted by Rabbi Yosef and Sara Moscowitz who graciously opened their Chabad House and home for this special gathering.

From across the expanse of the state boasting the fourth largest Jewish population in the country, the shluchim and shluchos came together to discuss what we can do to fulfill the Rebbe’s mandate to prepare the world for the coming of Moshiach.

As the day began, the children set off on a special trip. These youngsters know the extra demands made on them – the hours their parents spend away from home, the program preparations they enthusiastically participate in, the questions from community members they field with a smile. It was their turn to receive some recognition and enjoy special treatment.

With the teenage Shluchim looking after their younger counterparts and the toddlers in a supervised play area, their parents got to work.

Mr. Doron Horowitz from the Secure Community Network got down to the business of training these community leaders in best security practices for their facilities. Mr. Horowitz, a veteran of the IDF, shared training strategies and tactics for keeping our schools and shuls safe while retaining their welcoming demeanor.

Rabbi Yitzchak Bergstein, director of Chabad of Oak Park, distributed personalized preparedness booklets for each institution. There were drills and exercises and everyone took home practical tips to secure their institution.

Rabbi Baruch Epstein of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois shared the significance of this gathering taking place just one month before Gimmel Tammuz. An exchange of ideas for Shluchim was led by Rabbi Moshe Teldon of Chabad of Wilmette and for Shluchos by Mrs. Rochel Telsner of Chabad at Illinois State University.

Mr. Yankee Greenberger and Mrs. Rachel Zimmerman addressed the shluchim and shluchos in separate seminars on the topic of helping constituents and their families who struggle with challenges of mental health. The speakers highlighted red flags to look out for as well as helpful resources and tips on how to best support those struggling.

Rabbi Yosef Moscowitz, executive director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois and director of Chabad of Bucktown, hosted and organized the event. He welcomed the shluchim and shared some memories of his father, Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz, z’l, the head shliach to the state of Illinois whose birthday is on Isru Chag Shavuos.

Rabbi Meir Moscowitz, Head Shliach of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, shared words from the Rebbe and presented a brief “State of the State,” highlighting the high standards of Illinois mosdos and the new families who joined the team of Illinois shluchim.

Rabbi Yakov Dovid Kotlarsky, director of Chabad in Arlington Heights, reported on the impact he has made since moving 6 months ago to this leafy suburb.

Rabbi Baruch Hertzrav of anash and Congregation Bnei Ruven shared words of inspiration for the shluchim and their own families. Rabbi Yoel Wolf, Chabad of East Rogers Park spoke about preparing ourselves for Gimel Tamuz. Rabbi Sholom Ber Tenenbaum, Chabad of Gurnee, shared some practical suggestions reaching the dispersed Jews in smaller communities.

The children returned from their trip, exhilarated, exhausted, and filled with new vigor to prepare the world for the coming of Moshiach.

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