Black fedoras definitely stand out against the backdrop of colorful…
Last week marked the successful completion of MyShliach’s Sunday Chassidus Club for yaldei hashluchim. The club, geared toward children of Shluchim who don’t attend Lubavitch schools, aims to fill the need for Chassidisher education and atmosphere that usually come with studying in a Chassidishe Cheder.
The club was joined by kids like Chana Silberberg, a sixth-grade Shlucha in London, Ontario. She and her siblings attend a local co-ed Hebrew Day School. Every Sunday, she and four hundred other young shluchim grades 1-8 logged onto virtual classrooms for a 2.5 hours Chassidish experience.
“This is exactly what we were missing,” says her mother, Mrs. Nechamie Silberberg. “We’ve always taken part in the learning aspects of MyShliach, but this social, fun, camp-style club really took their programming to a whole new level.”
Divided by age and led by experienced teachers, the children learned about concepts in Chassidus and upcoming Chassidishe Yamim Tovim through exciting discussions, projects, and activities. Chana’s group crafted their own scrapbooks about the Rabbeim, learning about their lives and teachings, like so many girls do in Lubavitcher schools all over the world. “I really look forward to it all week,” she says, “and I made so many new friends who I keep in touch with between sessions too.”
“It kept my kids entertained and inspired on a Sunday home from school,” says Mrs. Silberberg. “But it also gave them a Chassidisher varemkeit and new friends.”
Even something as basic as davening is so meaningful to these children, many of whom don’t experience a Chassidisher davening in school or shul. “It’s a struggle to get them to daven on a Sunday,” says Mrs. Silberberg. “But in CClub, they davened beautifully together and learned the way we as Chassidim do it. It was a breath of fresh air.”
“What we take for granted in a Lubavitcher community, these kids grow up without it,” says Rabbi Shaya Itkin, director of the program. “What MyShliach does is give them the opportunities that other Lubavitcher kids their age have.”
Itkin says that even just seeing Shluchims kids like them makes such an impact. “They are surrounded all day by kids who are different, who live differently. The Chassidus Club shows them that they aren’t alone. There are so many children out there doing what they do, behaving in the frum, Lubavitcher way they do. It’s so powerful.” Chana says she feels “like I can be myself with these girls.”
This program is just one way MyShliach has expanded from their original Ach Sheli Chavrusah program fourteen years ago. “Myshliach has grown to be much more than our original big brother big sister program,” explains Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Executive Director of Merkos 302. “We are here to help Shluchim with the critical task of giving their children a Chassidisher Chinuch anywhere in the world.” explains Kotlarsky, “in the words of the Rebbe to a young Shliach as he embarked on his Shlichus: “Di nekuda hapnimiyus fun altz, chassidishe nachas fun di kinder – The ultimate point of everything is to have chassidishe nachas from your children, That is what Myshliach is all about.”
Other ways Myshliach furthers this mission are via the Mishnayos Ba’al Peh program—where participants can earn prizes based on what they learned, Yeshivas Erev, a virtual summer camp, Farbrengens in a Box—mailed before Chassidishe Yamim Tovim, regional Shabbatons, a mail-out book library, and so much more.
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” says Mrs. Silberberg. “This program has made such a difference to our family and I couldn’t be more grateful.”