Kinus Comes Early This Year

A large group of Shluchim gathered last week for an informative workshop on building Chabad Houses. The seminar, similar to those given at the annual Kinus Hashluchim, did not take place in Crown Heights, but rather allowed each Shliach to participate online in the comfort of their homes.

The latest webinar was moderated by Rabbi Mendel Bernstein of Chabad of Richmond Hill, Ontario, and presided over by Rabbi Aron Abend of North Hollywood, CA, and Rabbi Gershon Grossbaum of S. Paul, MN, both longtime experts in the field of building and contracting.

Rabbi Levi Schectman, director of Machon L’Shlichus, Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch’s Shlichus Institute, says the course is different from other professional seminars on the topic. “Shluchim face unique challenges and situations. We therefore tap into the knowledge and experience of fellow Shluchim for advice and guidance.”

“These are Shluchim with decades of experience,” says Rabbi Mendy Rabin of Beis Midrash L’Shluchim on the Shluchim Exchange, and coordinator of the building webinar. “Their expertise is like gold for fellow Shluchim thinking about plumbing or electrical wiring for the first time in their lives.”

It’s not only Shluchim helping out; webinars have been delivered by other experts in various fields, professionals who wish to donate their knowledge to the course. Shluchim seem to be eating it up. Indeed, aside from the live participants, in just three days since being posted on the Shluchim Exchange, many more Shluchim viewed a recording of the webinar online.

“It’s incredible to see the tremendous force of a community united,” says Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky of Merkos, “There is a strong desire to help Shluchim from both fellow Shluchim and members of Anash. Merkos is proud to facilitate this.”

In a world where networking and collaboration are the order of the day, the offices at Merkos Suite 302 are leading the way with initiatives like video conferencing and online forums and discussion groups. Within the walls of the Suite itself, there is high demand to put the technology to use.

Says Rabbi Mendy Margolin, the technical guru behind these projects, “As soon as people became aware of the power of these technologies, I became inundated with requests. Rabbi Mendy Shanowitz of MyShliach is using it for his programs, and I will be running several tutorials for others in Suite 302 in the days ahead.”

“All that matters to us is doing whatever we can to help our fellow Shluchim,” says Rabbi Beryl Frankel, Director of Suite 302. “We know the issues they face are diverse, and that’s why we’ve set up classes ranging from managing Quickbooks to cultivating relationships and building projects. Best of all, we are able to hear from peers with the same mission and similar mindset, many with specific horaos from the Rebbe.”

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