After nearly two decades of hosting a guest conference alongside…
Black fedoras definitely stand out against the backdrop of colorful straw hats, and in hot, humid Bangkok no less. This week, the city is seeing a record number of these as 31 shluchim families from across Asia convene for five days of rejuvenation at its regional Kinus HaShluchim.
This year, in the spirit of “Ish UBeiso,” the kinus–traditionally attended only by the shluchim–boasts a parallel program for the shluchos, as well as a full-blown camp for their 61 children. Organized by MyShliach of Merkos Suite 302, the camp features separate divisions for the boys and girls, with specially developed programs run by staff who flew in for the occasion.
“Shlichus in the Far East is quite unique,” shares Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor, head shliach to Thailand and kinus host. “Having all the shluchim families from throughout Asia gather for these five days of inspiration, learning and sheves achim gam yochad is a most crucial element that enables us to carry out our present and future shlichus. We are grateful to be the ones hosting this special event.”
Though under the banner of a “regional kinus,” shluchim have traveled nearly ten hours by plane in order to attend. Spanning the spectrum of a 44-million-square-kilometer “neighborhood,” brothers and sisters from Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam and, of course, Thailand are all in attendance. Noticeably absent is the LIfshitz family, dedicated shluchim to Nepal, who is standing at the forefront of Shabbos’ earthquake’s massive recovery efforts.
Themed “Maalin Bakodesh,” this year’s kinus features over 30 workshops, presentations and shiurim addressing matters such as kashrus, chinuch, giyur, sheva mitzvos b’nei Noach, relationships, bitochon, staff management, parenting children who are studying far away from home, and more.
Honoring the kinus with their presence are Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice-chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch who is heavily involved in the shluchim’s activities in the Far East, and Rabbi Moshe Feller, head shliach to Minnesota, who both flew in to participate in this momentous event.