“In Each of My Roles, I Marvel at Tzivos Hashem’s Tremendous Work”

Article by Oxnard shliach Rabbi Zalmy Kudan: “I’m privileged to wear many different hats – father, shliach, base commander, teacher and communications director at Chidon HQ. Within each of those roles, I marvel at the tremendous work of Tzivos Hashem.”

Hi there! My name is Zalmy Kudan. 

I live in Oxnard, California, and I’m B”H privileged to wear many different hats—father, shliach, base commander, teacher and communications director at Chidon HQ. And within each of those roles, I marvel at the tremendous work of Tzivos Hashem.

As a father, it is very rewarding to watch my children grow with their missions. 

The chayus that my children have for hiskashrus, and their eagerness to hear the weekly Rebbe stories in Hachayol Magazine, is as beautiful as it is contagious. I keep the publication at our Shabbos table every week, knowing how much it uplifts our Shabbos experience and gives real toichen to all who are present. 

Thanks to Chayolei Tzivos Hashem, I feel confident that when I talk to my child about dressing tzniusly, saying Modeh Ani properly, or increasing minhagim for Yomei Depagra, he/she can receive my words in a context of love and excitement for Yiddishkeit—because that attitude is shared both at home and from Chayolei Tzivos Hashem. 

When Shabbos Mevorchim arrives, even my youngest children (too young for the school’s CTH program) are excited to say Tehillim, because they see their older siblings so driven and motivated. 

What an unbelievable resource as a parent:  to watch my children take pride in their Yiddishkeit!

As a Base Commander, I am wowed at Tzivos Hashem’s contribution to our school’s extracurricular programming. There is so much that is handed to me on a silver platter, comprehensively prepared and  child-ready. 

One example is the rallies. Rallies are prepared for us multiple times each year. They give the children direct and engaging interactions with the Rebbe; the thrill of watching their schoolmates or camp friends on the big screen, proclaiming the pesukim for all to hear; and a feeling of deep connection with the international network of chayolim, reinforcing the powerful truth that our army is active, and our army is strong! 

I must also mention the slew of other resources, including Mishnayos Baal Peh, Tanya Baal Peh, Tehillim, daily & weekly missions, and Hachayol magazines—all of which provide our school with an incredibly professional chassidishe curriculum.

As a teacher, a most prominent spotlight from Tzivos Hashem is Chidon. My hands-on experience with this special program cannot be properly described in words. For starters, not a day of teaching goes by without a student telling me, “I know this from Chidon!” 

In fact, we recently began a new class for 6th and 7th grade boys to learn the daily perek of Rambam. Almost every child is engaged and learning inside the Chayenu—a direct outcome of the passion they get from Chidon. “I know this, I’ve been learning it!” is the proud exclamation, as they constantly refer back to their Chidon knowledge. It’s wonderful to see the impact that the program has had within our school, and ultimately, within the homes of our community. 

There is a surge of chayus for limud HaTorah, and for using free time for limud HaTorah! And as the father of a Chidon trophy winner, I can attest to this 100%! It’s just incredible. 

As a member of Chidon HQ, I have the privilege to see the inner workings; the tremendous amount of effort that goes into making Chidon the success that it is. It has been a truly eye-opening experience! I wish everyone could see the focused attention to every detail (there are many!), and the effort to ensure that the children enjoy a high quality of learning, while being tested in a fair and consistent way. 

There are children who participate within their school structure, and children on shlichus who participate without any school at all—and you can imagine the amount of arrangements necessary to accommodate each demographic…

Resources have been created for children with different learning needs and various challenges. The prizes are well-researched and professionally branded, giving children the sense that their accomplishments are recognized and taken seriously. I can go on and on. 

The dedicated leadership of Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum and his staff never ceases to amaze me! Hashem should bless them with the ability to ever-surpass the challenges that Galus throws at our children, and to continue inspiring our young soldiers to march proudly towards Geulah.

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