On Sunday and Monday, 5 and 6 Adar I, close to 200 Shluchim from across the states of California and Nevada gathered for two days of inspiration, solidarity and camaraderie. The Kinus was held at the beautiful and spacious Chabad of the Beach Cities campus, under the leadership of Rabbi Yossi Mintz.
The Kinus started with a series of workshops led by various Shluchim on topics such as Horoas from the Rebbe, how to take your Chabad Center to the next level, dealing with difficult issues that arise on Shlichus and a session on wills and bequests.
Later in the evening the Shluchim gathered for their grand banquet. This main event commenced with a moving Haschalas Sefer Torah in memory of the much loved and respected California Shliach Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon A”H, whose family just stood up from Shiva. This Sefer Torah is being sponsored exclusively by West Coast Shluchim as a symbol of Achdus, a principal objective of Rabbi Gordon throughout his lifetime. The Torah, once completed, will be loaned to assist Shluchim within their first two years of Shlichus just as Rabbi Gordon served as a mentor for so many Shluchim as they established themselves.
Following the Haschala, the emcee of the evening, Rabbi Zalman Gordon, set the tone for the evening and invited Rabbi Dovid Lisbon of Chabad of the Beach Cities to recite Tehillim for all Jews across the world. Rabbi Nosson Gurary of Chabad of Simi Valley then shared with fellow Shluchim a rousing Dvar Malchus regarding the identity and essence of a Shliach especially in today’s day and age.
Rabbi Yossi Mintz, the host of the Kinus, followed and delivered a powerful speech regarding the Rebbe’s kochos which enable Shluchim to accomplish miraculous achievements. He shared several personal stories which underscored this powerful idea and left Shluchim with an amazing sense of pride and joy.
The head Shliach of the West Coast, Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, then addressed the assembly and infused all the participants with an understanding of the importance of staying strong and continuing to build the Rebbe’s Mosdos in these last few moments of Galus. Rabbi Cunin distributed to Shluchim a special memento of the Kinus, a packet with wood shavings from the Rebbe’s holy room.
Following Rabbi Cunin, Rabbi Mendel Gordon, Mashpia of Yeshivas Lubavitch in London and brother of Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon, shared a powerful message with memories of his brother. He underscored the need of “vehachai yiten el libo” specifically in regards to those things which were close to his brother’s heart: Sholom and Achdus.
The keynote address, focusing on the theme of the Kinus “vatem tilukto l’echad echad,” was given by Rabbi Shmuly Schlanger of Bakersfield. With stories, humor, wit and wisdom, Rabbi Schlanger masterfully presented the unique zechus of Shluchim “beorei hasodeh” and shared impressive instances of how the Rebbe shows and has a special connection with these Shluchim. Rabbi Schlanger inspired the entire audience with his vital message of commitment, perseverance and emunah.
On Monday, 6 Adar I a full-day seminar was given by the renowned Shliach and psychologist Rabbi Yosef Shagalov regarding effective methods of building relationship skills and how to raise healthy children on Shlichus.
A special thanks was given to Rabbi Yossi Mintz and the hosting Shluchim, the Vaad HaKinus led by Rabbi Simcha Backman, Rabbi Shalom Ber Cunin and to all the Shluchim who participated and came from far and near to make this one of the most memorable West Coast Kinus HaShluchim in recent memory.
Photos by MG InFocus