On Sunday, 21st of Adar (March 19), over 200 Shluchim from across the state of California and Nevada gathered for a day of inspiration, solidarity and camaraderie. The Kinus was held at the beautiful and spacious Chabad of Irvine, under the leadership of Rabbi Alter Tenenbaum.
The Kinus started with a series of workshops led by various Shluchim on topics such as Working with fellow Shluchim in a peaceful, constructive manner, and a special session by Rabbi Mendel Duchman on how to increase support for Chabad Centers exponentially.
Later in the evening the Shluchim gathered for their grand banquet. This main event commenced with a moving Siyum Sefer Torah in memory of the much loved and respected California Shliach Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon A”H. This Sefer Torah was sponsored exclusively by West Coast Shluchim as a symbol of Achdus which was a principal objective of Rabbi Gordon throughout his lifetime. This special Torah’s Haschala was at last year’s West Coast Kinus HaShluchim just one week after Rabbi Gordon’s passing. The final letters of the Torah were inscribed by Rabbi Gordon’s children Eli and Yochanan, his son-in-law Rabbi Avi Rabin and Rabbi Mordechai Einbinder, who worked closely with Rabbi Gordon for over 40 years. The final letter was written by the head Shliach to the West Coast, Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin.
Following the Siyum, all the Shluchim danced with “Josh’s Torah” and did all the Hakafos with happiness, song and spirited dancing.
Following the Siyum was the Kinus banquet and Sedudas Mitzvah. The emcee of the evening, Rabbi Eli Andrusier, Shliach to North Irvine, set the tone for the evening by reciting Tehillim for all Jews across the world – and specifically for all the Shluchim and Shluchos who need a Refuah Shleimah Bekorov. Rabbi Yosef Matusof of Chabad of Claremont Colleges shared with fellow Shluchim a rousing Dvar Malchus regarding the identity and essence of a Shliach.
Rabbi Alter Tenenbaum, the host of the Kinus, delivered a powerful speech regarding the need to recognize that the supporters of Shluchim are connected to Chabad because of the Rebbe and the Shliach as the Rebbe’s representative. He shared several examples within his own Chabad Center which underscored this powerful idea and left Shluchim with an amazing sense of pride and joy.
The head Shliach of West Coast Chabad-Lubavitch, 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 slate from the roof of 770.
The keynote address and a highlight of the evening, focusing on theme of “Is Es Re’ehu Ya’azoru Uleochiv Yomar Chazak” was presented by Rabbi Zalman Marcus of Mission Viejo. Rabbi Marcus pointed out that the original location and story associated with the posuk of the theme was actually associated with negativity. In classic fashion, the Rebbe took the negative and entirely transformed it into a most powerful vehicle for good. Rabbi Marcus pointed out that this concept of helping one another starts with oneself, family and then in ever-growing circles effects all people within the sphere of the Shliach.
A special thanks was given to Rabbi Alter Tenenbaum and the Shluchim of Irvine, the Vaad HaKinus led by Rabbi Simcha Backman, Rabbi Shalom Ber Cunin and to all the Shluchim who came from far and near to make this one of the most memorable West Coast Kinus HaShluchim in recent memory.