The annual gathering of Chabad emissaries—bringing together 6,500 Jewish leaders, dispersed over all 50 states and 100+ countries—is now in full swing, has brought to the quaint streets of Crown Heights a convergence of international Jewry. The ongoing war in Israel has, according to a recently released survey from Chabad.org, brought about a Jewish resurgence—despite an alarming rise in anti-semitism—which is sure to have a strong mark on the conference.
Thursday’s 50 workshops brought together representatives of the manifold range of world Jewry to discuss a fittingly diverse range of subjects. Topics included the pressing and the everpresent, ranging from crisis intervention to antisemitism, from growing the ranks of Hebrew Schools to counseling grieving families.
In light of the current situation, there were panel discussions on relevant perspectives on the Land of Israel and its eternal Jewish connection, alongside guidance for implementing best security practices.
Special mention is worthy for the workshops with veteran Chabad emissaries, who shared the ever-relevant guidance they received from the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, the most influential rabbi in modern history and leader of the Chabad movement.
“This year’s theme is to uplift ourselves, our environment, and, through that, the world,” is how Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky opened the evening’s general session. “The world today looks to us for answers, for leadership. Let’s focus these few days on the clarity the Rebbe showed us in challenging times. Returning to our respective locations dedicated to those ideals, we will surely be an indomitable uplifting force.”
Utilizing event spaces throughout Brooklyn, this year’s conference debuted focus-summits on high-priority categories. The Halacha Seminar was a full-day symposium equipping shluchim with essential knowledge on today’s most pressing issues.
The Wellness Summit, meanwhile, had renowned experts training Shluchim in essential skills to be pillars of support for their communities in times of crisis.
At the Youth Summit, shluchim focused on younger demographics networked and shared ideas to accelerate the growth of Chabad’s youth network worldwide. CKids and CTeen Networks, as well as growth and development strategies, were the focus topics of the summit.
Rabbi Shmuel Levertov, who heads Chabad of Leander, TX, describes the energy as ‘electrifying.’ “The forward-thinking techniques I learned from my peers today,” says Levertov, “demonstrate their absolute dedication to the Jewish nation. I look forward to spending the coming few days with the most powerful army for good, the unassuming individuals whose actions are changing the world.”
Thousands of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries who are gathered in New York for the 40th annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchim), assembled at the Ohel in Queens, N.Y., the resting place of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, the most influential rabbi in modern history.
The emissaries, representing Jewish communities worldwide, carried with them prayers from their communities and signed the pan klali (general letter), which was read at the Ohel and contained prayers for Israel, the Jewish people and humanity at large.
During past conflicts in the Land of Israel and times of danger for the Jewish people, the Rebbe made practical suggestions of mitzvahs to elicit G‑d’s protection. As revealed by a recent survey conducted by Chabad.org and released in conjunction with the Kinus Hashluchim, Jews worldwide are experiencing a “spiritual awakening” and harkening the Rebbe’s call to increase in Jewish practice. A staggering 98% of survey respondents reported seeing an increase in personal practice related to Jewish traditions and observances among community members, in the face of rising antisemitism.
With Chabad representatives in Israel unable to travel due to the war, the usual time slot of the annual group visit to the Ohel was brought forward to allow them to tune in via live stream before the onset of Shabbat in Israel. The emissaries in attendance, who hail from across every U.S. state and more than 100 countries, kept their colleagues in Israel in mind in their prayers. The line of rabbis outside the Ohel, recited tehillim (Psalms), learned the Rebbe’s Torah teachings, and reflected on their role during these trying times.
With the war in Israel weighing heavily on their hearts, they placed handwritten letters, personal notes, and requests for blessings on behalf of their families, communities, and the broader Jewish diaspora, seeking solace and strength.