When Mrs. Mushky Glitsenstein returned to her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska with her husband and son as the new shluchim in town, she had her eyes set on the youth. The Lubavitch Jewish Center in Anchorage already boasts a Gan Yeladim preschool, Talmud Torah, and Hebrew school thanks to the tireless efforts of her parents, shluchim Rabbi Yosef and Esther Greenberg, but Mrs. Glitsenstein wants more. “We’ve hosted themed Shabbat programs every once in a while,” Mrs. Glitsenstein tells Mrs. Mushky Loewenthal, co-director of CKids with her husband Rabbi Zalman, “but it’s been difficult to produce quality Shabbos children’s programs on a consistent basis with everything else going on.”
Moving back to town with her husband as the assistant rabbi and youth director of Anchorage’s Chabad, Mrs. Glitsenstein sought to change that. “I had heard about CKids through the grapevine,” she says, referring to the Shabbos and yom tov “program in a box” sent monthly by mail to shluchim around the world. “Everyone has had such rave reviews about how it has not only had kids schlepping their parents to shul, but bringing their friends along, too.”
“A quality program like CKids is especially needed in a small community like Anchorage,” explains Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, executive director of Tzivos Hashem, “where it’s challenging to entertain a small number of children of widely varying ages.” Anchorage’s Lubavitch Jewish Center will see its first CKids Shabbos program in action next week, and people are really excited about it. “It’s been the latest talk,” says Glitsenstein. “Just the packaging and marketing materials themselves speak volumes about the professionalism of the program. People are looking forward to seeing what it’s all about.” The 301st Chabad House to subscribe to CKids’s Shabbos and yom tov program, Mrs. Glitsenstein looks forward to the convenience of being able to conduct a well-rounded youth program with minimal preparation and anticipates a new excitement in the shul-going experience for her community.
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, comments on the hashgocha protis of the timing of the newest CKids branch’s launch: “That 100 communities of Jewish youth have been positively affected through the CKids program is a sign of shlaimus. Three times that amount reflects a chazoka of that shlaimus. The opening of the 301st chapter takes CKids to a whole new level of illuminating the lives of Jewish children and their parents with an unprecedented strength and power. Indeed, in line with the theme of this year’s Kinus, no Jew will be left behind, even if he’s hiding amongst the icicles in Alaska.”
CKids is the Chabad House division of the traditional Tzivos Hashem system and is a joint mosod of Tzivos Hashem and Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch’s Suite 302.