By Matisyahu Friedman & Aryeh Leib Laufer Providence, Rhode Island,…
As hundreds of bochurim filled the Jewish Children’s Museum, the only sounds to be heard were scratching pens and rustling pages. Merkos Shlichus volunteers were filling readiness questionnaires in preparation for heading out on shlichus this Pesach.
More than 650 bochurim will be dispatched to about 300 different outposts around the globe. The Merkos Shlichus staff are currently working around the clock arranging the logistics of this massive endeavor.
Readiness comprises of the understanding and retention of information from many years of text-based study and Mivtzoim “field work.” Questions covered practical applications of Halacha, Koshering basics, tips on leading an interactive and meaningful Seder, cooking for large crowds, answering hard hitting questions and more.
Bochurim have been carefully matched to locations around the world requiring support for Pesach. Support may include assisting a Shliach with a public seder in a local nursing home, running a simultaneous seder on a college campus or preparing dozens of trays of Kosher l’Pesach food for thousands of Israeli backpackers in southeast Asia. Bochurim will also deliver Shmura Matzah to elderly, ill or otherwise homebound individuals, Kosher kitchens, deliver sermons and engage in private study sessions with children and adults.
During the meeting on Monday, bochurim reviewed their questionnaires with Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, chairman of the Merkos Shlichus program. Rabbi Kotlarsky offered insight and feedback to each bochur as well as tips for their upcoming assignment.
“I was overwhelmed by the sheer number and quality of Bochurim who are excitedly awaiting their Shlichus assignment this year,” said Rabbi Kotlarsky. “These are motivated, knowledgeable and dedicated young men. We are humbled to continue to expand this important project instituted by the Lubavitcher Rebbe nearly 75 years ago. We are doing what we can to give each of these bochurim tools for positive Jewish encounters and meaningful engagements”.