This past Motzei Shabbos, parshas Toldos, some 70 men and women, members of the Besht Center and the greater Crown Heights community, came to bid farewell to Rabbi Mendel Kalmenson, rabbi of the Besht. The Kalmensons will be moving to Central London to open a new Chabad house.
While attendees enjoyed a delicious buffet, Rabbi Kalmenson spoke about the important role that the Besht plays in Crown Heights continued growth as the spiritual hub for Chabad Chasidim the world over. Afterward, he received a parting gift as a token of gratitude by members of the Shul.
The Besht Center was founded over two years ago to meet the growing needs of the Crown Heights community. According to founder, Rabbi Yehoshua Werde, the shul was established to serve young working professionals in their spiritual growth. It seeks to “develop a love of learning through intellectually engaging shiurim,” and it features “inspirational davening,” so that its member can “grow to be chasidim in the fullest sense of the word.” To that extent, current programing offered by the Besht Centers includes: weekly gemara shiurim, ‘Chavrusa Sushi,’ weekly guest speakers, and a new initiative of monthly Melava Malkas.
Sruli Clapman, the president of the Besht Center, found the Melava Malka as a fitting send off for the Kalmensons.
“We wish Rabbi Kalmenson and his family hatzlocha in their new shlichus, and we will greatly miss him,” Clapman says. “Rabbi Kalmenson helped form much of what the Besht Center is today through his charisma and sincere love for our shared vision. By coming together for monthly Melava Malkas, I believe the achdus we’ll show is the logical extension of everything we’ve learned from him.”