(November 27, 2019 / Chabad.org/News) Chabad-Lubavitch emissary couples and their families leave throughout the year to set up Jewish centers in places near and far—many in North America, but nearly as many overseas, everywhere from Russia and Israel to Africa and South America.
Last weekend in Brooklyn, N.Y., emissaries gathered en mass for the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchim).
One of the highlights of the yearly celebration, which brought together 5,800 Chabad rabbis and communal leaders from all 50 U.S. states, as well as 100 countries and territories, was witnessing the growth of Chabad’s worldwide network of emissaries.
Here’s a look at some of these emissary couples and the communities they serve.
Rwanda, one of the smallest countries on the African mainland, is marked by a history of violence and genocide. Its small but rapidly growing Jewish community includes men and women who assist its struggling, mostly rural population, helping with poverty relief, health care and economic development. With the vision of serving the fledgling Jewish community’s spiritual needs, Rabbi Chaim and Dina Bar Sella recently opened a new Chabad center in Kigali. Rabbi Bar Sella is the country’s first permanent rabbi, and the couple’s center includes the nation’s first synagogue.
Kyoto, Japan—home to a whopping 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, world-class universities, and the headquarters of Nintendo and many other tech companies—attracts many Jewish visitors from Israel, North America and Europe. That’s why just before Passover this year, Rabbi Dovid and Chaya Mushka Posner, and their son Menachem Mendel, founded the city’s first permanent Chabad House.
The only synagogue in Hackensack, N.J., has a new couple at its helm. Rabbi Mendy and Shterna Kaminker moved with their family to the North Jersey town to form Chabad of Hackensack. Temple Beth El, once bustling with more than 200 members, has been struggling to fill its pews. In a special arrangement, it is now home to the Chabad center.
Forty years ago, in 1979, the first Chabad House in Illinois, serving students at Northwestern University, was established by Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Hecht and Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz. There are now 50 Chabad Centers in the home state of President Abraham Lincoln. Among the three new couples who started out this year in Illinois, Rabbi Avremi and Rivky Raichik launched Chabad of Logan Square in the heart of Chicago.
The Jews of Kaunas, Lithuania, recently welcomed Rabbi Mendel and Mushkie Krinsky to the city. Before World War II, Kaunas, known in Yiddish as Kovno, was a major center of Jewish life and scholarship in Lithuania. The vast majority of the city’s Jews—a quarter of its population was Jewish before the war—were murdered by the Nazi Germans and local collaborators during the Holocaust. Those who did survive endured another half-century of Soviet rule, when Jewish life and learning was persecuted. Rabbi Krinsky grew up in the country’s capital of Vilnius (Vilna), where his parents founded Chabad of Lithuania in 1994, and he and his wife have already begun the work of revitalizing the city’s storied Jewish community.
Rabbi Zalmy and Mushka Dubinsky left for Raleigh, N.C., to focus on the city’s growing young professional community. Rabbi Dubinsky estimates that of the city’s 23,000 Jews, about 2,000 of them are millennials drawn to jobs at tech companies such as Lenovo, IBM and Cisco. The couple’s recent programs include High Holiday services attended by more than 100 young Jews.
The famous music festival wasn’t actually held in Woodstock, N.Y. That honor, in fact, belongs to nearby Bethel, N.Y. But 50 years later, the town that helped brand the 1960s now plays a modern tune with the arrival of Rabbi Mendy and Shaindy Karczag. The young Chabad couple and their children have already begun to build a community with the 1,000 Jews who call Woodstock home.
JNS works around the clock to provide high-quality, pro-Israel content. We’ve taken numerous steps to improve the quality, quantity, and distribution of our content for even greater impact. We intend to keep on growing, and to do that we need your help.
Please help us take pro-Israel journalism to the next level with a tax-deductible sponsorship, either on a one-time or recurring monthly basis. Jewish News Syndicate is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.