By COLlive reporter
Family members and friends filled the event hall at the Lubavitcher Yeshiva on Crown Street in Crown Heights on Wednesday, wishing Mazal Tov and saying L’chaim.
But it wasn’t an engagement party.
Friends and children of Rabbi Elkanah Shmotkin, Director of the JEM organization, organized a celebration and farbrengen in honor of his 50th birthday, which was a surprise to him.
His parents Rabbi Yisroel and Devorah Shmotkin, Head Shluchim of Wisconsin, were there, along with many relatives, classmates, fellow Shluchim, students, friends and supporters.
Notable were his employees at JEM who share his dedication to bringing the Rebbe and his teachings to the world through audio, video and print, other prominent figures in the field of publishing the Rebbe’s teachings, and students of his daily 6:30am Chasidus class.
JEM staff gave gifted him personal reflection on his leadership, along with a leather-bound edition of the books they have published of people’s encounters with the Rebbe, and biographical research into the Rebbe’s early years.
Friends of JEM, with the coordination of his children, raised $250,000, for JEM’s work to share the Rebbe’s guidance on Israel’s security with the public.
Among those who spoke were JEM founder Rabbi Hillel Dovid Krinsky, Shliach Rabbi Moshe Gourarie of Toms River, NJ, Texas Shliach Rabbi Yossi Zaklikovsky, University of Illinois Shliach Rabbi Dovid Tiechel, Oslo Shliach Rabbi Shaul Wilhelm, and president of the Mitzvah Center Shul in Crown Heights, Yossi Chayo.