by Chaim Lehrer
No Hurricane winds were felt in South Florida on Sunday and Monday, Rosh Chodesh and 2 Elul 5776 (September 4-5, 2016). Rather, the winds of Elul were felt, especially with the power and energy generated by the annual 2 day Southern Regional Kinus Hashluchim, held this year at the newly renovated Chabad of South Broward Headquarters, with its charming Old City of Jerusalem stone decor.
Over 120 Shluchim participated in this most memorable Kinus.
The program began with registration and lunch followed by an hour of intense study of the meaning of Elul and it significance as articulated by the Rebbe in Likutei Sichos vol. 34.
At 2:00pm a general session was called to order and all were welcomed by Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus, Head Shliach of South Broward.
First, to be called to the podium was Rabbi Avraham Korf, Head Shliach to the state of Florida, who delivered emotional greetings and warm words of encouragement to all in attendance.
Rabbi Chay Amar gave a heartfelt talk about the importance of Hakhel and all its expressions and how the Shluchim can still כאפ אריין in this month of Elul.
Rabbi Yossi Lebovics, Principal of the Chaya Aydel Seminary, encouraged the Shluchim to tap in to the many programs the Seminary offers that can benefit their Shlichus.
Rabbi Mendy Katz of the Aleph Institute spoke next and reminded the Shluchim of the important work with prisoners and soldiers, and how all Shluchim can get involved.
Rabbi Leibel Miller spoke about Chevrah Kadisha, and how he is involved in working with Shluchim in this matter throughout the state of Florida.
After an indepth workshop on Chabad House security, the main session came to a close, and the Shluchim were able to choose and participate in 2 sets of five half hour round table discussions.
The 10 topics ranged from high holiday prep, to teen programing, from small town Chabad Houses to building a mikvah in a community.
3 main workshops followed, including questions on Hilchos Shabbos pertinent to a Chabad House, with Rabbi Leibel Schapiro and Rabbi Yossy Marlow; Raising healthy chassidishe children With Rabbi/Dr. Chaim Drizin; and fundraising tips with Rabbi Yisroel Brod.
After Mincha and a group Photo, the Shluchim were directed to the Max and Eve Rubenstein Main Sanctuary that was elegantly transformed for the occasion into a beautiful banquet ballroom. The lavish decor provided by Almighty Productions and Refoel Harel, and elegant catering that was provided for the banquet and the entire Kinus by Yossi Gopin and Kosher Central caterers, really made the evening and the Kinus the success that it was.
Highlights of the banquet included a very eloquent Dvar Malchus by Rabbi Leibel Schapiro, a most touching and inspiring talk by lay leader Mr. Paul-Pesach Sholom Sussman, who spoke about his journey to Yiddishkeit from Tibet and his encounters with the Rebbe.
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky of Chabad Headquarters shared regards from the recent Kinus of the European Shluchim in Moscow and reminded the Shluchim of the privilege and responsibility that comes along with being a Shliach of the Rebbe.
After a most humorous look into the lighter side of a Shliach’s life and days work by Rabbi Adi Goodman, the official program concluded with bentching, only to be followed by a four hour inspirational Farbrengen with Rabbi Avraham Sternberg, who flew in especially for the occasion.
Monday morning began with Chassidus study and davening followed by breakfast.
A general session that covered the 2 topics of Hiskashrus and working together with neighboring Shluchim was very insightful to many, with senior Shluchim such as Rabbis Korf, Sholom Lipskar, Yossy Biston and Tennenhaus sharing many invaluable ideas and experiences with their fellow Shluchim.
With a feeling of renewed energy and much optimism, the Shluchim thanked the Organizers of The Kinus Rabbi Tennenhaus, Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, Rabbi Leizer Barash and especially Rabbi Mordy Feiner.
Bidding each other a Ksiva V’Chasima Tova, and wishing one another great success in their Shlichus, the Shluchim left the two day Kinus with expressed hope that at the next Kinus HaShluchim they will be together with the Rebbe in Yerusholayim with Moshiach Tzidkeinu , Bimheiro Beyomeinu-Now!