By COLlive reporter
A new educational project in English-speaking Chabad schools worldwide is helping young students to learn from and connect with the Rebbe in an innovative way.
Connection Point, created by the JEM organization in partnership with Tzivos Hashem, screens an excerpt of a sicha of the Rebbe to children, along with a full program of materials to help the students understand and participate.
During the three-week round, children are challenged to watch, listen, and understand the Rebbe’s sichos. The first official round of the program was held in schools this past month.
Boxes containing the full program materials, as well as exciting prizes, are sent to participating schools. The Connection Point team works with each school to guide them step by step, helping them with the implementation.
The first featured video was from a Chanukah rally in 5745 that was recently published by JEM. With that rally completed, even before the second round has begun, students and their teachers are excitedly preparing for the next session which will take place in the lead-up to Putim Koton.
Rabbi Elkanah Shmotkin, director of JEM, expressed how gratifying it has been to hear such positive feedback. “I think that everyone involved in the launch of this monumental project deserves a big Mazel Tov! Now we need to build on the success that we’ve had, and continue to build the children’s sense of connection with the Rebbe.”
Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum, Director of Tzivos Hashem, emphasized the uniqueness of a program like Connection point. “Chayolim in Tzivos Hashem always love to participate in a good rally, but these are the real rallies. We cannot begin to imagine the tremendous Nachas this must bring to the Rebbe, as thousands of children watch and listen to the Sichos and continue to learn from them today.”
So far, Connection Point has launched in 19 schools, with nearly 2,000 children participating in this round, the first of four to be held this year. There has already been lots of interest from other schools around the world, and all will be given the opportunity to join the following sessions later this year.
“The Talmidim were hesitant and nervous in the beginning and didn’t believe they could achieve it,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Lustig, Principal of Grades 5-7 at Oholei Torah Elementary School. “Now that we completed the program, the Talmidim see themselves that they can watch the Rebbe. And they can understand.”
“We just finished the first session. Children were really involved and are so excited for the next one,” said Mrs. Rochi Kesselman from Lubavitch Girls London, England.
This initiative is made possible through the generous support of Shmulik and Sara Aizenberg and the members of the JEM Foundation.
The following schools participated in this round:
Bais Rebbe Junior High – Los Angeles, CA
Lubavitch girls primary school – London England
Cheder at the Ohel – Queens, NY
Cheder Menachem – Los Angeles, CA
Cheder Lubavitch Boys – Morristown, NJ
Cheder Lubavitch Girls – Morristown, NJ
Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School Boys – Chicago, IL
Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School Girls – Chicago, IL
Lamplighters Yeshivah Boys – Crown Heights, NY
Lamplighters Yeshivah Girls – Crown Heights, NY
Oholei Menachem – Postville, IA
Oholei Torah – Crown Heights, NY
Sacramento Jewish Academy – Granite Bay, CA
United Lubavitcher Yeshiva – Crown Heights, NY
United Lubavitcher Yeshiva – Ocean Parkway, NY
Yeshiva Schools Boys – Pittsburgh, PA
Hebrew Academy Community School boys – Margate, FL
Hebrew Academy Community School girls – Margate, FL
Cheder Chabad Monsey – Spring Valley, NY
For more information or to bring the program to your school, email [email protected]