A farbrengen in honor of Rebbetzin Chana’s birthday was held at the Machon Chana dormitory on President Street Monday evening.
Mrs. Esther Sternberg shared with the assembled fascinating personal stories of her encounters with Rebbetzin Chana from the time she was a young child throughout the early years of her marriage. She reiterated numerous times Rebbetzin Chana’s sensitivity and friendliness to all regardless of their social standing or connection to the Chabad community. Mrs. Sternberg urged everyone to emulate Rebbezin Chana’s ahavas Yisroel. She applauded the Machon Chana students’ mesirus nefesh for Torah and mitzvos just like their school’s namesake, Rebbetzin Chana.
Via telephone, Mrs. Chana Labkowski, shlucha in Sao Paolo, Brazil, joined the program. With clarity and warmth she spoke about the three mitzvos of the woman that are hinted at in the name “Chana.” She said that on Rebbetzin Chana’s birthday we are given the power to – like Rebbetzin Chana – transform darkness into light by transforming ourselves, our homes, and the world into a place ready to welcome Moshiach.
Mrs. Channa Hecht, shlucha in Brentwood, California, also joined via telephone. Channa Hecht was born just after the first yartzeit of Rebbetzin Chana. At the age of 11 month she went together with her parents into yechidus with the Rebbe.
Near the end of the yechidus, the Rebbe proclaimed her name loudly three times, each time banging on his table. Soon after she was in a car accident and was thrown from the car onto the highway. She stated passionately that she is alive today due to the Rebbe’s constant brochos. Mrs. Hecht urged everyone to reach out to other Jewish women and help them fulfill the three mitzvos of Chana as well as making sure we, in our own homes, are fulfilling them properly. She inspired everyone with her fiery enthusiasm and heartfelt pleas for Moshiach.
Rabbi Shloma Majeski, principal of Machon Chana, gave over parts of the sicho of 28 Teves, 1992, when the Rebbe discussed Rebbetzin Chana being named ultimately for Chana the Prophetess. Rabbi Majeski also quoted a sicho of the Rebbe relating to the unique times that we now find ourselves in especially considering the events that took place recently in Paris.
The audience of over 100, who were joined by dozens of viewers on-line, then heard from another Chana. This time is was a Machon Chana alumna who again spoke via telephone. She shared the story of her struggle to choose a Jewish name when she was coming to the final stages of her conversion. When she finally chose the name Chana it was with a feeling of peace and wholeness. Chana lives overseas and teaches in a renown Chabad mossad in her city.
The evening, chaired by Mrs. Zeesy Piamenta, concluded with a musical presentation by current Machon Chana student Ahava Kaplun, whose flawless presentation of niggunim on her flute thrilled everyone.
Rabbi Shea Hecht, a member of the executive board of NCFJE said, “The event was a beautiful tribute to Rebbetzin Chana. That it took place in the dorm was especially meaningful as the Rebbe told my father, Rabbi J.J. Hecht on a visit to the dorm that ‘since the girls are continuing in her (Rebbetzin Chana’s) footsteps, her presence is always here.’ ”
To view a recording of the event visit http://bit.ly/28Teves