If you ask college students around the world what attracted them to their Chabad on Campus center, many will point to the warm family atmosphere. It is only natural therefore, that the annual Chabad on Campus International Kinus is very much a family affair, with accommodations and activities for the entire family and separate programs for Shluchim, Shluchos, and children of all ages.
Over 600 children joined this year’s Kinus at the Crowne Plaza in Stamford, Connecticut, hosted by Chabad on Campus International and directed by Rabbi Moshe Chaim and Nechoma Dina Dubrowski, who credited the coordinating committees of Shluchim and Shluchos, chaired by Rabbi Chezky and Dobie Thaler with helping to produce such a successful Kinus. Aside from meticulously organized childcare for younger children, 300 older boys and girls enjoyed Tzeirei HaShluchim camps co-produced by MyShliach.
This year a new teen program was added with 25 teenage daughters of Shluchim helping with childcare during the day and spending the evenings enjoying discussions, a farbrengen and other activities run by Shira Weinstein, who grew up on campus at the University of Pittsburgh. “I was honored to run the teen program and get a chance to talk to the girls on a real and relatable level. The girls were given the chance to share with their friends and feel proud to be campus Shluchos,” said Weinstein.
In addition, a new program for Shluchim children with special needs run in coordination with Yaldei HaShluchim was offered for the first time this year. As one mother of a special needs child explained, “Not only were we able to join the Kinus and not only were we able to bring our daughter, we also had a sense of community, understanding and friendship.”
Of course the adults were not neglected, with separate workshops and farbrengens for the 400 Shluchim and Shluchos throughout the four day Kinus. Discussions were led by an all-star lineup of scholars, educators, therapists and fundraising experts. Besides fellow Shluchim and Shluchos, guest presenters included Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Mr. George Rohr, Mrs. Gitty Bronstein, Rabbi Yisroel Deren, Mrs. Vivi Deren, Rabbi YY Jacobson, Rabbi Moshe Kesselman, Mrs. Chanie Krasnianski, Rabbi Benny Krasnjanski, Rabbi Zalman Leib Markowitz, Dr. David Pelcovitz, Rabbi Yossi Rosenblum, Mrs. Menucha Schochet, Rabbi Dr. Yosef Shagalow, Mrs. Rus Devorah Wallen and Rabbi Leima Wilhelm.
“Besides for the valuable workshops and lectures, the Kinus is a wonderful opportunity for campus Shluchim and Shluchos to spend time with their family of fellow Shluchim and Shluchos. The Kinus took place over Shabbos this year which gave an added feeling of warmth and chayus. Joining together with a thousand-plus people dedicated to the Rebbe’s mission of Ahavas Yisroel and spreading Yiddishkeit is a singularly special experience.” said Rabbi Yossy Gordon, Executive Vice President of Chabad on Campus International.
Photos by Bentzi Sasson