The excitement in the air is palpable as Shavuos approaches;…
Ufaratzta Circle is the one-of-a-kind network, composed of hundreds of Shluchos who, with their families, serve as the sole providers of Jewish infrastructure and community for a radius of hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles. Recently, Ufaratzta Circle of North America completed a five day virtual Kinus for these Shluchos.
“Ufaratzta Circle was created to ease some of the common challenges of Ufaratzta Shluchos,” explains Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, “It aims to bridge the gap between geographically-distant Shluchos and help them maintain their passion and drive. Ufaratzta Circle is a platform that provides a community for these Shluchos, connecting them with others going through situations and experiences similar to their own. It provides a network of support, both practical and emotional for women just like them.”
This year’s Ufaratzta Kinus was a packed program organized with the needs and interests of these Shluchos in mind. The theme was “מאך ליכטיג”- exploring how illuminating others illuminates us in turn. Shluchos, Mrs. Aviva Deren, Chaya Posner, Rivky Block and Leah Namdar shared tips on staying inspired, vibrant and connected as lamplighters while far from traditional Jewish infrastructure and communal support.
Every Shlucha received a beautiful and extensively thought out Kinus package. Enclosed was everything needed for the ultimate kinus-from-home experience. The moment the Shluchos opened their packages, they knew they were in for a treat. From gifts for the Shlucha to goodies for the kids, all bases were covered. The package included a welcome letter, a cozy custom Kinus sweater, a beautiful tichel, a sheitel band, a stunning shabbos necklace, free Chayenu subscription for a year, an Eighth Day music album, and so many snacks.
“Wow, thank you so much for the Kinus box!” exclaimed Mrs. Cohava Cohen, from Ocean City, Maryland, “I am amazed by all the thought and detail that was included, it’s truly incredible. Special thanks to the sponsors and everyone who was a part of making these boxes a success!”
A wide range of fantastic presenters gave sessions on parenting, Chinuch, Shidduchim and Shalom Bayis as they pertain to the distant locales of these Shluchos. Among the speakers, many themselves Ufaratzta Shluchos were, Mrs. Shani Katzman from Omaha, Nebraska, Mrs. Chaya Blasberg from Aruba, and Mrs. Sonia Hershkovich from Cabo S. Lucas, Mexico. Topics of self care, sheitel styling, mental health and their pertinence to the unique circumstances of Ufaratzta Shluchos were covered.
In addition to the range of relevant topics, the theme of joy, light, and laughter was interspersed throughout. A paint night, games, laughter, and joy workshops were all on the agenda. To top off the already incredible and jam-packed kinus program, complete with uplifting and invigorating experiences on every level, raffles were drawn regularly throughout the program.
Thanks to a comprehensive list of generous sponsors, shluchos were able to win from a variety of fantastic prizes.
“Thank you for an incredible kinus!” said Mrs. Blumi Shemtov, shlucha to Nanaimo, British Columbia, “Even with the limitations of a virtual platform, I was able to feel so uplifted and it was comparable to the experience of attending an in-person Kinus. I’m so appreciative of the undoubtedly tremendous effort that was invested to organize this amazing event. Thank you so much!”
The Ufaratzta Circle is a project of Merkos 302.
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