Thousands of Chabad Shluchim Feted at Annual Gathering
by: Meir Sternhill
New Jersey - In song, dance, and speeches, an estimated 6,500 shluchim of the Chabad movement on Sunday night celebrated at the annual Kinus Hashluchim in the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison.
The event was packed with highlights, from its inception when kapitul 121 of Tehillim was recited to mark 120 years since the Lubavitcher Rebbe's birth to the conclusion, which saw a mass Hachnasas Sefer Torah for 36 new scrolls.
The night was headlined by philanthropist George Rohr, who sponsors many Chabad activities through his Rohr Family Foundation. Rohr, who grew up in South America, related how he watched the group in action as a child until he met the Rebbe and became an adherent.
"We supporters need to understand our relationship with the shluchim differently," he told the crowd. "We are not donors, and the shluchim are not recipients. We and they are us. We are partners. Partners in the work of Chabad, partners in the great vision of the Rebbe."
An emotional moment came when several Chabad shluchim from Ukraine spoke about their activities helping the war-torn country deal with its challenges.
As many shluchim attended this year, next year's kinus is certain to have a larger group - Rabbi Moshe Kotlarski, the vice chairman of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, announced that 120 new emissaries were being dispatched to locations around the globe, including one couple to the African nation of Zambia.