Mobile, Alabama. Boise, Idaho. Spokane, Washington. Not quite your typical vacation destinations! But this week, 128 rabbinical students will be flying out to “Small Town, USA” for Shavuos, to bolster the yom tov joy and spirit for the shluchim and their families living there.
Cootamundra, population 6,700. I had been driving for six hours on behalf of Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia, or RARA, northbound along the seemingly endless Hume Highway, stretching the vast distance of Australia’s east coast. I was headed to Wollongong, just one of eleven locations where regional Seders would be taking place, a coastal paradise famed for its beautiful beaches and warm climate. But now I was taking an hour detour off the Hume Highway to visit the only Jewish family living in Cootamundra.
More than 650 bochurim will be dispatched to about 300 different outposts around the globe. The Merkos Shlichus staff are currently working around the clock arranging the logistics of this massive endeavor.
In anticipation to the new Zman beginning in Yeshivos worldwide, a special conference – Kinus Talmidim Hashluchim was held by the Vaad Talmidei Hatmimim on Monday, 26 Tishrei, for the Shluchim traveling to Yeshivos around the world.
‘Roving Rabbis’ Mendel Barber and Aaron Roth relate two amazing encounters they experienced while performing Merkos Shlichus in Southern California this summer.
Bochurim Mendel Danow and Levi Loewenthal describe an amazing encounter they experienced while traveling through rural Denmark to find isolated Jews and light their spark as part of the ‘Merkos Shlichus’ program.
It was a cloudless day on Monday in Telluride, Colo., a small Western town high in the Rocky Mountains filled with forests and rivers. Telluride is full of tourists this time of year. “As I passed the busy town park, I saw two young men in the crowd. Their appearance was very distinctive, and I immediately recognized them as Jewish men.”
From Chabad.org by Menachem Posner: Shmuel Butler just returned from Vietnam. The 21-year-old rabbinical student spent five weeks serving the needs of Jewish expats and tourists, and reports that being in the Communist nation is “like being on a different planet.” […]
Edmond Gerald Meyer turned 13 in 1933 in Albuquerque, N.M., where his mother’s German-Jewish family had settled during the Civil War and founded a successful business that spanned the territory (as it was then known). Although the family occasionally attended synagogue services, “E.G.,” as he was called, never went to Hebrew school and cannot remember celebrating his bar mitzvah. That is, until this week.
Who knows when someone might need a spiritual lift? Rabbinical students Leibel Kaplan, 19, and JJ Polter, 20, found themselves in a check-out line at the Great Falls Walmart the other day when a man in line with them spoke up.
Forty-two shluchim in remote and isolated cities throughout North America received the ultimate gift this Shavuos as 110 bochurim trekked to remote locations, to bring chayus and chizuk to these special shluchim, their families, and communities. The bochurim assisted with minyanim, led farbrengens, and created anticipation and excitement for the holiday.
A Chabad rabbi from Crown Heights, whose great-great grandfather served as spiritual leader of the the Jewish community of North Dakota for 53 years, returned to the state to conduct a Pesach Seder this year.
Hatomim Naftali Hertz Pawzner and his chavrusa Hatomim Menachem Sassonkin arrived last weekend in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland and the northernmost capital of the world, to prepare for the public seder they will hosting for the Jewish residents of the city as well as for the Jewish tourists. This pair is one of 310 additional chavrusas who arrived in hundreds of locations around the world in order to prepare for the public Sedorim, as part of Merkos Shlichus program.
What do Sofia, Bulgaria; Pucon, Chile; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Discovery Bay, Hong Kong have in in common?
As the summer heat bears down on Australia, a small group of Chabad Bochurim are canvassing RARA (Regional and Rural Australia) in a Mitzvah Mobile, searching for Jewish souls and bringing them the light of Chanukah. Just two weeks into their journey, these ‘roving rabbis’ have already touched hundreds of Jewish souls.
“Roving Rabbis” Mendel Weinfeld and Mendel Erlenwein were handing out Shabbat candles, mezuzahs and kosher food while making their usual rounds in Contra Costa County in California when they got an unusual request.
Tzvi Alperowitz, 20, of Great Britain and Mayer Brook, 19, of Brooklyn, New York, both rabbinical students, were in Rapid City early last week and in Pierre on Thursday. Along the way, they stopped at landmark South Dakota sights such as Mount Rushmore and the Capitol Dome.
Waves crashed on the shore and palms trees swayed in the wind as the Jamaican sun baked down on two rabbinical students standing in dress pants and starched white shirts. They were fiddling with a portable printer, with neat stacks of paper meant be bound into Tanyas, the slim but significant volume penned by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the first Rebbe of Chabad.
While traveling on Merkos Shlichus in rural New Mexico, Bochurim Duni Blotner and Zalmy Goldberg stopped for a routine cup of coffee at Starbucks. Outside the shop, they met someone who – unbeknownst to them – was experiencing ‘the darkest day of his life.’
Accosted. That was the word that came to Phil’s mind when the three bearded jacketed Rabbis approached him. “Excuse me, are you Jewish?” they asked.
The mattresses had been much thinner and harder in his former prison, which lacked air-conditioning and was full of gang activity. So why did L.S. (who is currently serving time in Kansas) want to transfer back there?
Forty Jewish people from around the world sat around a table not too long ago in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, celebrating Shabbat together.