Nepalese PM Meets With Chabad Leadership

Chabad-Lubavitch leadership met early Sunday morning with Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala in New York, where he is participating at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.

In his meeting with Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the educational and social services division of Chabad-Lubavitch, and Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of the educational division, Mr. Koirala had warm words for Chabad’s activities in Nepal and its contribution to his country’s tourism and growing democracy. The PM pledged to strengthen his government’s relationship with Chabad in Nepal.

The meeting followed the release on Rosh Hashana of Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, Chabad’s representative to Nepal, from custody by Nepalese authorities. Lifshitz had returned from Israel to Nepal in time to lead High Holiday services for his community of hundreds, but was detained by authorities because of a missing visa document.

The rabbi and his wife Chani are renowned for their activities in Nepal serving the country’s sizable, transient Jewish community. Their Passover Seder—the largest in the world numbering some 1500 guests, has become world famous. The couple was the subject of Kathmandu, a popular Israeli TV series, and their Chabad center is a destination for Jewish travelers, businesspeople and Israeli backpackers.

The Prime Minister, who took office last February and enjoys wide support among his country’s 27 million people, offered his commitment to ensure Chabad’s continued growth and “the safety and security of its facilities and Jewish travelers to Nepal.” He was presented with a recently published book about the Lubavitcher Rebbe to help him learn more about the history of Chabad and the Rebbe’s leadership.

The Prime Minister used the opportunity to affirm Nepal’s consistent and long-standing support for Israel, reminding the rabbis that Nepal maintains an embassy in Israel, and has been a loyal friend of the Jewish state for many decades.

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9 Comments

    • 3. Ezra wrote:

      You did read the article, right?

      “The meeting followed the release on Rosh Hashana of Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, Chabad’s representative to Nepal, from custody by Nepalese authorities.”

    • 5. CR wrote:

      I am sure this was very much on the minds of everyone in the room. Tourism is a huge chunk of Nepal’s economy, not a small part of which is Israeli backpackers. And the “Highest Chabad House in the world” is a major jewel-in-the-crown to Chabad’s global network. The PM and Merkaz have good incentive to “fix” that embarrassing matter quickly and decisively.

    • 6. Milhouse wrote:

      I’m sure awacs did read the article. Did any of you? If you did, surely you will have noticed that it does not say this issue was raised in the meeting. That omision seems to speak very loudly, and prompted awacs’s question.

  • 7. 7 wrote:

    Did they bring up the Sheva Mitzvos B’nei Noach? I believe the Nepalese have a hard time with the first 2…

  • 9. behind the scenes wrote:

    Though it may not say it in the articles in so many words, this group worked tirelessly the entire Rosh Hashana for the release of the shliach. They met with the PM several times until the shliach’s release was secured. They rallied people on both ends of the globe to make the release happen as quickly as possible. Just because you don’t know the whole story–or because individuals don’t demand public credit for it–doesn’t mean you should make immediate assumptions about what happened.

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