Shluchim families from Southern Ontario gathered for a Hakhel Shabbos at Chabad of Niagara Falls, where it was announced that a beautiful and spacious new Jewish welcome center will be built.
By Anash.org reporter
Shluchim families from Southern Ontario gathered this past week for a regional Kinus and Shabbos Hakhel at Niagara Falls, headed by Rabbi Zalman and Perla Zaltzman.
The shluchim traveled from across Southern Ontario for the weekend, headed by Head Shliach Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum. Over 50 families joined the Shabbaton, held in honor of Shnas Hakhel.
Starting from before Shabbos and continuing over the weekend, the shluchim joined together in davening, learning and farbrenging in unison, encouraging each other in their holy work. Special programs were also held for the women and the children, for them to enjoy the weekend and gain inspiration as well.
Guest speaker for the weekend was Rabbi Yisroel Deren, regional director of the Chabad Lubavitch of Western and Southern New England. Rabbi Deren led a farbrengen on Friday night into the wee hours of the morning, and continued farbrenging after davening the next day until Shabbos concluded. Mrs. Vivi Deren also joined the Shabbaton, farbrenging for the women both Friday night and Shabbos day.
Shabbos morning, Rabbi Grossbaum delivered an inspiring drasha between shacharis and mussaf, and after davening, the shluchim and shluchos sat down for the Shabbos meal and farbrengen.
During the meals, the shluchim heard from Rabbi Duni Blotner, shliach to Etobicoke, Ontario; Rabbi Nechemia Deitsch of Chabad of Midtown; and new shliach Rabbi Menachem Wolff. Emceeing the Friday night meal was Rabbi Meir Gitlin of Chabad Markham, and emceeing the Shabbos day meal was Rabbi Mendel Zaltzman of JRCC. Leading the Shabbos day farbrengen was Rabbi Yosef Gansburg, Educational Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Ontario. At the shluchos meal, Mrs. Deren and a number of shluchos addressed the crowd and farbrengend.
Following the conclusion of Shabbos, a special program was held for the shluchim on the topic of creating a chassidishe atmosphere in one’s home. Speakers at the program included Rabbi Deren, Rabbi Yoseph Zaltzman of JRCC; Rabbi Chaim Leib Hildeshaim, shliach to Thornhill Woods; Rabbi Shalom Ber Bakshi, shliach to Woodbridge, Ontario, Rabbi Benny Kamchaji of Beth Chabad Israeli Community in Toronto and host shliach Rabbi Zaltman. The program was emceed by Rabbi Mordechai Silberberg, shliach to the University of Western Ontario. Special video messages by Harav Dovid Schochet, mara d’asra of the Chabad community of Toronto, and by Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, were also played.
The shluchos also enjoyed a program of their own, addressed by Rebbetzin Esther Grossbaum, Mrs. Sheina Rosenfeld of Chabad of Hamilton, Ontario, and host shlucha Mrs. Zaltzman.
A special highlight of the weekend was the unveiling of the plans for a new, expanded and beautiful Chabad House and Jewish welcome center for Niagara Falls. The Shabbos took place a day after Chabad Niagara closed on a new piece of land where the new Chabad House will be built in the near future, and the announcement added a special element to the Kinus.
During the melave malka, the owner of the property, who generously agreed to swap his property with Chabad’s previous property showed up and presented the details alongside Rabbi Zaltzman. The shluchim were shown a rendering of the new Chabad House, which will have ample room to service the many visitors who come to the area during Yomim Tovim and the summer.
“The entire Shabbos was incredibly inspiring, with a feeling of achdus felt over the entire weekend,” Rabbi Silberberg told Anash.org. “Many hachlatos tovos were taken as a result of the Shabbos.”
The Kinus organizing committee were Rabbis Zalman Zaltzman, Moshe Steiner, Tzali Borenstein, Moishy Goldman, Mendel Chaikin, Shimon Binstock; and Mrs. Yehudis Steiner, Mrs. Devora Lezell, Mrs. Rivky Goldman, Mrs. Jomi Steiner, Mrs. Chanie Hildesheim, Mrs. Chanie Chaikin. The Kinus was sponsored in large part by R’ Oren Antebi in honor of his father’s first yahrzeit.
Renderings of the new Chabad House: