By COLlive reporter
Photos by Itzik Roytman
Amid singing and dancing, the Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchos convention by the Shluchim Office for daughters of Shluchos concluded on a high note with a grand Hakhel banquet in Brooklyn, New York.
“We just completed the 3 most unforgettable days filled with chayus and friendship; achdus and energy,” declared the emcee Goldie Itkin. “And most importantly, with a pride in who we are and what our mission is.”
Close to 1000 girls on Shlichus in large and small cities around the world filled the Campus Chomesh hall in Crown Heights which was transformed into a festive ballroom on Sunday night.
The timing of the Kinus was highlighted on the eve of 22 Shvat, the yartzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson OBM, wife of the Rebbe and an inspiration to Chabad women and girls.
Special treats such as Kinus decorated donuts and magnets were given out throughout the evening which included davening, speeches, music and a catered dinner.
Opening the banquet were Menucha Itkin of Pittsburgh, PA and Mushka Kesselman of Malmo, Sweden, who recited the kapital Tehillim of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin, respectively.
12 Pesukim were said by the young Shluchos Nechami Holtzberg – Georgetown, NY; Mushka Hecht – Israel; Sarale Kievman – Mansfield, MA; Yocheved Deutch – Samara, Russia; Mina Teichtel – Champaign, IL; Mussie and Rivkie Kaplan – Victoria, British Columbia; Chani Zohar – Tel Aviv, Israel; Leah Spritzer – Chattsworth, CA; Sheina and Devorah Leah Mimoum – Montrouge, France; Chaya Kaplan – Milan, Italy; Shaina Engle – Melbourne, Australia; Shaina Danow – Leeds, England.
During the banquet a photographer went to each bunk and took pictures. On the way out, all girls received a special magnet with their picture of their bunk printed on it.
With live music by Benshimon and much fun, the young shluchos danced their hearts out with a musical presentation by Mrs. Rivka Eilfort, a Shlucha in Carlsbad, CA, who as a child was a camper in the Kinus.
The theme of this year’s Kinus was “Ich Bin A Hakhel Yid” (I am a Hakhel Jew) and focused on the Rebbe’s message of this year being a Hakhel Year. Every camper received supplies to make their own Hakhel gatherings back home and a coin purse with tzedakah.
Delivering the keynote address was Shlucha Mrs. Feigie Ceitlin, Program Director of Chabad Tucson in Arizona, who had run the Tzeirei Hashluchos Kinus and the Young Shluchos Winter Camp in past years.
Having being born on Shlichus, Ceitlin recounted her childhood memories of assisting her parents Rabbi Yossie and Chanie Shemtov in their Shlichus. “You are part of the Shlichus and you represent the Rebbe just like your parents,” she told participants. “Just like the adults, you have the power to bring Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit.”
She also emphasized the special care and love the Rebbe showed the Shluchim and their children, as depicted in this video by JEM:
A highlight of the banquet was the announcement of the winners of the Parsha Podcast raffle. Each week, Young Shluchos visit the young Shluchim website ShluchimKids.Org and listen to the Parsha Podcast. By filling out the questionnaire, they enter into a weekly raffle.
On Friday, the entire Kinus listened to a podcast and all girls entered the raffle. The winners of this week’s iPod Shuffles were announced at the banquet.
Many other prizes were given out as well and lots of raffles – including staff raffles with special prizes sponsored by Tzfasman Jewelers. Prizes also included the set of Sefer Hashluchim and a free ticket to the Young Shluchos Winter Camp in Florida.
Mrs. Simi Shemtov, director of the Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchos gave special thanks to the phenomenal banquet committee: Goldie Itkin, Chaiky Weingarten, Chaya Zaltzman and Shaina Groner.
Another highlight was the International Roll Call where the countries and states of the young Shluchos are announced. Children also wore special glow in the dark bracelets with the theme of the year.
Chinuch Yaldei Hashluchim (CYH), a division of The Shluchim Office, has prepared a special year-long program that allows campers to “continue the Kinus all year long.”
By logging onto the young shluchim website at ShluchimKids.org, all young shluchim and Shluchos can take part in the exciting programs and projects that take place throughout the year.
VIDEO: Full footage of the banquet (for women and girls viewing)