By COLlive Reporter
Photos: Shmuel Amit/COLive
As the three days of friendship, excitement, and inspiration that is the annual Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchim drew to a close this past Sunday afternoon, young Shluchim from across the globe took their seats in the Ballroom of Beth Rivka in Crown Heights to enjoy their very own Grand Banquet.
This year’s Grand Banquet date was significant, falling out on Rosh Chodesh Kislev, marking 40 years since the Rebbe’s recovery in 5738. The Banquet theme followed that of the entire Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchim – “א שליח איז דאך איין זאך מיט דעם משלח” – and how the Rebbe is constantly present and empowering each Shliach with the ability to succeed in their mission.
A slideshow of pictures from the past few days was in motion on video screens around the beautifully-lit and decorated hall as the children entered to find their seats, a reminder of everything they had experienced in such a short time.
Head Counselor Shmuli Lezak opened the festivities as Master of Ceremonies, leading into an welcoming video featuring Shluchim from around the world. A video of the Rebbe singing a niggun followed with the entire room joining in to sing as one with their Rebbe. Head Counselor Menachem Caytak gave inspiration about Shlichus and the Rebbe’s presence in their lives, each and every day.
The Young Shluchim then watched a video prepared specially for the Kinus, animating a story the Rebbe said at a Farbrengen of a Shliach’s challenging experience with an unfriendly government official and how the situation was completely turned around as a result of following the Rebbe’s instructions meticulously.
Then, to the fascination of everyone present, a never released video played with the Rebbe telling this very story, and expounding on the powerful lesson that could be learned from it, with special thanks to Jewish Educational Media.
The Young Shluchim then took to song, with special guest singer Eli Marcus and music by Chony Milecki, going through favorites like “With a Tehillim,” “Amongst Majestic Mountains,” and “Ani Maamin.”
Representing his fellow Young Shluchim was Zalmy Rubenfeld from Chesterfield, MO, who talked about his life on Shlichus, shared inspiration for his friends, and a personal story from back when he was in kindergarden.
Back to the video screens, the crowd saw how Young Shliach Levi Lazaroff from Houston, TX received a clear answer from the Rebbe to a request he had written about; and Rabbi Mendel Kaplan, Shliach to Toronto, Ontario, gave a powerful message for the Young Shluchim to take home.
The entire Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchim then came to their feet to literally rock the ballroom’s floor as they sang and danced to the brand new theme song of the year, composed by Rabbi S.Z. Minkowitz, followed by the Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchim Anthem, “Thousands of Shluchim.”
Rabbi Yitzy Erps wove his storytelling magic, keeping the entire room spellbound, followed by a very loud twelve Pesukim.
Then the much-awaited International Roll Call, led by Head Counselor Levi Plotkin, interspersed with the various niggunim most appropriate to many countries and lively dancing as everyone’s spirits hit peak again. Dessert was served, special cupcakes marked “40” for the 40th anniversary of the Rebbe’s recovery.
Children then arranged their tickets in anticipation of the Grand Raffle, featuring many exciting prizes including sets of Sefarim, full-size drones and special exclusive raffles for the first-ever Bar Mitzvah Program.
The grand prize, a full scholarship to the annual Tzeirei Shluchim Winter Camp in Lake Worth, Florida, was taken home by Berel Feldman from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Taking place 6-15 Shevat – Jan. 22-31, the camp is an exciting opportunity to spend 10 days among fellow Young Shluchim in a warm, chassidishe and fun environment in sunny Florida.
Parents arrived to more dancing, collecting their sons and checking them out in an organized process to ensure every child was accounted for.
Voices hoarse and spirits high, the Young Shluchim headed home, energized and excited to continue their Shlichus for another year. Each Young Shliach left the Kinus with special gifts: pictures of the Rebbe to fill a beautiful album on 770, and a DVD “Take to Heart” from JEM in honor of 30 years of Chof Beis Shvat, sponsored by Rabbi Levi Azimov.
A replay of the live broadcast of the Banquet will be available shortly.
The annual Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchim is a project of The Shluchim Office.
The success of the Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchim is thanks to the director of the Shluchim Office Rabbi Gedalya Shemtov, the director of the Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchim Rabbi Berel Bendet, assistant director Mendy Ceitlin, logistics coordinator Zevi Sasonkin, food coordinator Mendy Heber, Yisrolik Kievman, head staff Rabbi Avremi Browd, Mendel Danow, Peretz Garelik, Menachem Caytak, Mendel Goldman, Shaya Gourarie, Shmuli Lezak, Levi Plotkin, Mendy Schapiro, Naftali Junik, Mendy Kirszenberg, Rabbi Uri Blau, Mendy Ashkenazi, Nechomi Friedman, Mendy Weinfeld, Mendel Azimow, Yossi Dawidowicz, and all the dedicated counselors.
Thank you to the Head Klolim Mendy Twersky, Tzemach Shemtov, Moshe Kalmenson, Yosef Glaser, Aharon Spielman, Ezra Wiemer, Noach Zeiler, Sholom Lipsker, along with all the dedicated Klolim.
The Banquet arrangements are thanks to Mendel Bergstein, Mendel Hertz, Schneur Druk, Mendel Perlstein, Yankel Bergstein, Yehuda Glaser, Levi Kesselman, Shayale Gourarie, and Levi Plotkin, among many others.
The rally by the Ohel on Motzai Shabbos is thanks to Levi Shemtov, Shmuli Levertov, and Shumi Freedman, among many others.
A very special thanks to Rabbi Adam Brooker, Rabbi Avraham Green, Rabbi Chezky Vogel, Menachem Greenberg, and the entire Shluchim Office staff for supporting the Kinus operation from the opening of registration until the last child arrives back home.
A very special thanks goes to Rabbi Benjy Stock and the team at Beis Rivkah (Benny Wolf, Tzvi Fass, Shmiddy, Gil and Co.) who have once again spearheaded the massive effort to host and cater to all the needs of the Kinus Tzeirei Hashluchim.
Thank you to Yisrael Yavitch, Sholom Wilhelm, Shloime Denberg, Eli Goodman, Mendel Sorkin, and Mordy Zirkind.
Special Thanks to the Rabbi Chony Lesches and Oholei Torah, Rabbi Chaim Schapiro and Tomchei Temimim of Morristown, Rabbi Levi Nejar of Yeshivas Lubavitch Baltimore, and Rabbi Shmaya Shmotkin of Yeshivas Lubavitch Detroit, for ensuring we had our incredible group of counselors and staff.
Thank you to Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin, Rabbi Sholom Ber Baumgerten of Tzivos Hashem, Rabbi Yossi Langsam of Lubavitcher Yeshiva, Rabbi Menachem Minsky of Chovivei Torah, Rabbi Abba Refson and Rabbi Yossi Pelman at the Ohel, Rabbis Elkana Shmotkin and Mendel Gourarie of Jewish Educational Media, and Kehot Publication Society.
We would also like to thank the sponsors who contributed generously of their time, money, goods and services in order to make this event possible.
Rabbi Dovid Fischer
סעודות הבאנקעט לצעירי השלוחים
לובא מיכלא בת הרב ר’שלמה
נפ’ ג’ כסלו תשע”ה
Rabbi Beryl & Shani Junik
Shor Habor Glatt Kosher Meat