By COLlive reporter
Beginning Sunday, June 27, some 400 Lubavitch bochurim will be traveling out of New York to spend their summer vacation months visiting small and remote Jewish communities around the world.
Merkos Shlichus, the Chabad peace corps of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, was founded by the Rebbe to reach out to Jews who do not live in a Jewish environment.
“This project was very dear to the Rebbe,” Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos and allocator of the funds for the program, said at a preparation and farewell gathering Thursday.
“And you must keep this in mind,” Kotlarsky told the 250 bochurim at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights, “When in the field: you are representing the Rebbe and Chabad and must act accordingly.”
Rabbi Chaim Shaul Brook of Lahak reviewed the Sichos and directives of the Rebbe to past groups, while R’ Menachem Posner of Chabad.org introduced the blog rovingrabbis.com.
Other speakers were Merkos Chairman Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Ilinois Head Shliach Rabbi Daniel Moskowitz , Copenhagen Shliach Yitzy Lowenthal and Norway Shliach Shaul Wilhelm who recalled their experiences on Merkos Shlichus.
Rabbi Menachem Hartman, the Chabad Shliach in Vietnam which caters to Isreali backpackers, encouraged the bochurim to stay in touch with the people they meet. “It advances the initial connection you made,” he said.
“Even in this bad economy we are sending out the same amount of groups,” R’ Schneur Najar, who coordinated the project with R’ Mendel Kotlarsky, told COLlive.
Along with appropriate funds and travel expenses, each bochur was handed brochures, booklets and a business card.