By COLlive reporter
Preparations are being made for the International Kinus Hashluchos, the annual convention of Chabad rebbetzins serving as co-directors of Chabad centers, communities, schools and institutions worldwide.
Taking place in Brooklyn, NY, it will be begin on Wednesday, 22 Shevat (February 11) coinciding with the yartzeit anniversary of the Rebbe’s wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson OBM, an inspiration for their work.
The days will be filled with prayers, meals, workshops, lectures, sessions and farbrengens that will explore their daily work, share ideas and advice on a vareity of areas in their personal and communal responsibilities.
They will be visiting the Rebbe’s Ohel and Rebbetzin’s gravesite in Queens on Friday for a joint prayer and will be taking a “group photo” on Motzoei Shabbos at the Eden Palace in Williamsburg.
The Kinus will come to a roaring conclusion on Sunday, 26 Shevat (February 15) at the Gala Banquet to be held at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. It will unite Shluchos and supporters for an uplifting evening.
Keynote speaker will be Mrs. Goldie Avtzon, co-founder of Lubavitch in the Far East. When she moved with her husband Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon to Hong Kong in 1986, it was Chabad’s first step into Asia with the blessings of the Rebbe.
Mrs. Avtzon grew up on Shlichus as the daughter of Rabbi Abraham and Batsheva Shemtov, co-directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Greater Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
Despite skepticism and challenges, the Avtzons raised a family of 7 children and helped establish 18 Chabad centers in 7 countries in Asia, each finding its own path but remaining a proud member of the family.
“Life for a Shlucha in Asia is truly all encompassing and all consuming,” explains Mrs. Avtzon. “They must all continuously balance each other’s needs, their children’s needs and the community’s. They worry about raising their children in isolated places, cut off from the main arteries of Jewish life, but that is often the role of the shluchim.”
Guest speaker at the banquet will be Mrs. Rhoda Dermer, wife of Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. Born in Baltimore, she graduated Yale Law School and served as a clerk for Aharon Barak, former justice of the Israeli Supreme Court.
After the clerkship, Rhoda Dermer returned to New York to work in a Manhattan law firm, the Miami Herald reported. After the attack of Sept. 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center, she moved to Jerusalem and married Ron. They have five children.