Regional Shabbatons, the Yaldei Hashluchim Book Library, online Farbrengens and surprise nosh packages are all part of the mix when it comes to caring for the well-being of Shluchim’s children. But on Wednesday, it was the “big brothers” of MyShliach’s Ach Sheli program who were given the attention.
Of the 250 Bochurim and girls around the world who set aside an hour each week to learn and farbreng over the phone with Yaldei Hashluchim, those studying in 770 and Oholei Torah’s zal were treated to an evening of inspiration and empowerment in Crown Heights’ Nemes Hall.
Representing the parents of the young Shluchim, Manhattan Shliach Rabbi Yehuda Lipsker, whose two sons participate in the program, highlighted the impact these Bochurim have on children who typically do not have local Chassidishe friends. “You give over a Geon Yaakov that helps them stand tall despite whatever they may face, be it at school–with classmates who are not like them–or anywhere else.”
On behalf of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos Suite 302, thanked the Bochurim for their efforts and dedication. “While visiting Shluchim around the world, I hear time and again how much of an incredible impact your one hour a week has on their children,” he said, reinforcing the importance of taking the responsibility seriously.
Hatomim Levi Matusof, born and bred on Shlichus in Calgary, Alberta and now learning in 770, delivered a beautiful and practical presentation, providing ideas as to how every moment of the precious hour can be maximized. “No matter how you end up spending the time, most important of all is to show that you care,” he said.
Nineteen-year-old Mendel Vorst, who grew up on Shlichus in Rotterdam, Holland and now learns every week with Mendel Cadaner from Davenport, Iowa, shared what inspired him to choose to give up his supper break for a young Shliach: “When I was a kid, growing up in Holland, the MyShliach program was my source for Rebbe and Chassidishkeit. I truly looked forward to that hour every week. I feel now is the time [for me] to give back and give someone else a little of what I got.”
Photos by Bentzi Sasson