Mid-Atlantic Kinus Brings Camaraderie, Joy, and Torah

Hundreds of shluchim from around the Mid-Atlantic region gathered together for a full day of camaraderie, development, and inspiration at Chabad of Cherry Hill, N.J.

On a sunny Tuesday, hundreds of shluchim from around the Mid-Atlantic region gathered together for a full day of camaraderie, development, and inspiration. Hosted by Rabbi Mendy and Dinie Mangel of Chabad of Cherry Hill, N.J., the short-but-packed day provided a large, and much-needed boost for these dedicated field soldiers who rarely ever get the chance to stop and think for themselves.

The sprawling, gleaming Chabad Center in this South Jersey town was a most suitable host location for such a large and active group of shluchim. Workshops, lectures, refreshments and meals, and of course, good old farbrenging between each other made for an all-around fabulous day.

As it was just after Chof Av, the yahrtzeit of the Rebbe’s father, Harav Levi Yitzchak Schneersohn, the first workshop of the day was given by a native Mid-Atlantic shliach, Rabbi Dovid Dubov of Princeton, N.J, author of a number of annotated and elucidated works on Reb Levik’s teachings. Rabbi Dubov captivated the audience with the brilliance of these unique works.

“Rabbi Dubov really was able to explain these deep concepts in Chassidus to everyone,” said Rabbi Hersh Loschak of Chabad at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. “He impressed upon us how special it was to connect with the Rebbe’s father, as it is a personal matter for our Rebbe, strengthening our own hiskashrus. It was especially nice to be able to take home a brand new kovetz of Reb Levik’s Torah, and bring a part of the kinus and its energy back home with us.”

Other workshops were devoted to the particular needs and nuances of daily life on shlichus. Esteemed Lubavitcher Rov, Rabbi Levi Garelik spoke about various halachic matters that shluchim might encounter, focusing on areas of halachah with elements many people aren’t even aware of. For example, while it would seem fair to assume that something labeled “non-dairy” is not milchigs, the reality is that many times, it isn’t. What can satisfy government standards to be considered “dairy-free” may not pass halachic muster—all this to say that one must be vigilant, knowledgeable—and ready to ask questions.

A session dedicated to chinuch, specifically the needs, wants, and hopes of the average bochur in mesivta was delivered by Rabbi Mendel Levin, mashpia in Yeshiva Mesivta Menachem in Westchester, N.Y. There was also ample guidance for fundraising, ably and expertly led by veteran fundraising coach and seasoned Shliach, Rabbi Elazar Green of Lancaster, PA.

Beyond the experts and lectures, one session all shluchim enjoyed was a round table led by Rabbi Avi Richler of Gloucester County, N.J. In a true display of “Ish es re’ehu ya’azoru,” each shliach had the opportunity to share a good idea, a tip, or a best practice from their own shlichus. “It was a real feeling of ‘we’re all in this together,’” said Rabbi Kushi Schusterman of Harford County, Maryland. “One interesting idea shared by Rabbi Levi Neubort of Fairlawn, NJ, was that together with every thank you letter he sends, he attaches one dollar, telling the recipient to give it to a charity of their choice. I understood that our job is not only to say thank you, but to empower people to do amazing things.”

The grand banquet was a beautiful moment as the emcee and host, Rabbi Mendy Mangel, introduced a close friend and supporter of Chabad who shared remarks with the shluchim. “There were some amazing stories shared at the banquet,” said Rabbi Sholom Raichik of Chabad of Upper Montgomery County, Maryland, who himself shared a dvar Torah at the event. “I was particularly moved by Rabbi Sholom Leverton of West Windsor, N.J.’s remarks, as he spoke from the heart and impressed upon us that success in shlichus is not about numbers, but rather individual interactions that change lives, even in a small way. “All in all, the kinus was uplifting and supportive. Everyone felt that it was a very worthwhile time.”

“As we near the end of this Hakhel year, this Kinus truly affirmed the tremendous power of coming together with fellow Shluchim,” said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Chairman of the International Kinus Hashluchim, who also attended the kinus and addressed those gathered. “Getting together and being mechazek one another, along with the insights shared here, strengthens our joint mission, following the path the Rebbe illuminated for us to reach yet another Jew in a meaningful way.”

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