MyShliach Hosts Volunteer Appreciation Event

Over 120 volunteers of the MyShliach chavrusa program at Merkos 302 gathered in the JCM on Thursday night for an elegantly appointed appreciation event, honoring their dedication to their weekly Chavrusahs with, and ongoing mentorship of, yaldei hashluchim.

The Chavrusa program was started fourteen years ago, as MyShliach’s original offering that pairs bochurim with young shluchim for weekly learning over the phone. Today, MyShliach has grown to be so much more to young shluchim around the world, like Zalman Itkin from Kansas City, MO. He’s homeschooled, with one other classmate–the only other Lubavitcher boy his age in the vicinity.

“I wish I was able to hang out with friends after school and have sleepovers,” he said at the event. “But thanks to MyShliach, I do have friends. And I learn so much.”

Zalman said his social life revolves around MyShliach’s initiatives like the Sunday Chassidus Club, where he interacts with other shluchim from similar backgrounds. “Just three weeks ago,” he told the assembled, “MyShliach hosted an awesome Shabbaton where I got to actually meet the fellow yaldei hashluchim of our region, in person. Every year I wait for the Shabbaton to come along.”

Other Chassidishe Chinuch offerings from MyShliach that Zalman and his peers enjoy include the Mishnayos Ba’al Peh program—where participants can earn prizes based on what they learned, Yeshivas Erev, a virtual summer camp, Farbrengens in a Box—mailed before Chassidishe yomim tovim, regional Shabbatons, a mail-out book library, and so much more.

Also addressing the assembled volunteers were Rabbi Zalmy Teichtel, shliach in Lawrence, KS, and Rabbi Mendy Shanowitz, director of MyShliach. “My nine-year-old son nags me every Wednesday,” said Teichtel, “always asking if his chavrusa called yet, when is he going to call, or if it’s time for learning yet. He really looks forward to it and it’s beautiful to see. Thank you for doing that for him, for really impacting our children’s lives.”

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice-chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, thanked the volunteers for all of the effort they put into the program. “It is apparent,” Rabbi Kotlarsky said, “when I visit shluchim families in remote locations, how much the opportunities provided by MyShliach, like this program that enables the children to converse with you on a weekly basis, truly affects each child on a personal level in their hiskashrus and avodas hashlichus.”

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of a special pirsum rishon Rebbe video, a behind-the-scenes look at the children’s Chanukah rally of 5742, made possible by JEM. The event ended off with each of the volunteers being gifted a personalized hatbox.

“The once a week chavrusa program has helped me improve my Yiddish and continue to learn and grow in my chassidishkeit,” said Zalman Itkin. “Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. You’re really making a true impact on yaldei hashluchim like me, across the world.”

MyShliach thanks Rabbis Moishy Schapiro and Rabbi Shaya Itkin for coordinating the event. MyShliach is a division of Merkos 302 for the benefit of yaldei hashluchim worldwide.

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