No, these aren’t illegal child laborers making Matzah in some underground sweatshop. It’s a bunch of kids making Matzah in an underground Chabad House in Efrat.
Posts Tagged ‘Chabad’
Chabad will be running a special election day campaign. Outside every voting booth will be a Chabad Tefillin stand.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Haifa has confirmed what the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory, always told his followers in the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement: “Tracht gut un zein gut!” (Think good and it will be good!)
The study led by Professor Dana Yagil from the university’s Department of Human Services, found that “suppressing positive interpersonal emotions is detrimental to employees as well as to customer satisfaction.”
“The expression of natural positive emotions is well received by the other party,” Yagil observed, adding that it is “likely to contribute to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.”
The findings were published in the journal Motivation and Emotion. “Suppression of positive interpersonal emotions is contrary to natural behavior in social interactions,” Yagil said. Among service employees working in call centers, marketing and sales, employees are often expected to maintain a neutral demeanor. Yagil found that neutrality comes at a “price,” however.
Some 246 participants of various ages, employed in customer relations, were included in the study.
The findings indicated that suppressing negative emotions was linked to positive customer satisfaction; suppressing positive emotions increased the sense of employee inauthenticity, which in turn increased customer dissatisfaction.
The snow fell wet and thick on to the stairs and sidewalk on Eastern Parkway — and all around the New York area, in fact — but no one heard inside the Oholei Menachem boys’ school in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn on Sunday.
As hundreds of airlines delayed and canceled scheduled flights, more than a thousand carousing teens were joyously dancing on their chairs and romping around the banquet tables as Chabad emissaries chuckled and moved around them, conversing placidly with counselors, teens and each other. “COUNTDOWN!” Total rave on the floor.
“3. 2. 1. PLEASE TAKE YOUR SEATS SO WE CAN KEEP THE ENERGY FLOWING!!!” Miraculously, 1,500 squiggling, wiggling, laughing and singing teens sat down in two halls to listen as a slender young girl with shining long hair, and then a healthy boy on video hookup from the matching hall each addressed the crowd. Roars of applause for each.
Mark Seddon, speechwriter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, sat amongst the bedlam appearing slightly bemused by it all. Ban himself had sent a personal, videotaped greeting to the teens, delivered with a warm smile and a cordial tone, and kicked off with a bit of Hebrew just for fun.
“Shalom, Bruchim Ha-baim (Welcome) to Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky and to all the delegates of CTeen. A special welcome also to the 100 young people from Paris. The thoughts of us all are with those who have lost family and friends in the recent horrific terrorist attacks in that city. Chabad institutions such as CTeen have a strong reputation for working in the community. This year you will honour young people who have made a significant difference in people’s lives through CTeen’s social service projects. To them we say, thank you – and keep up the good work! I encourage all of you to continue to reach out to anyone in need with no distinction. This spirit of compassion and equality drives the United Nations. Empowering youth is one of my top priorities. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN World Programme of Action for Youth. We have a campaign called #YouthNow [“hashtag youth now”] that I hope you will all join. When you speak up about the issues that matter we all benefit. The United Nations stands ready to work with you. Thank you.”
Speaking exclusively with JewishPress.com amid the bedlam, Seddon added, “I like the international aspect of this group especially, and that it gives the teens something to believe in.
“The Secretary-General sent warm greetings to these teens, he has a very strong concern about the events that are taking place. This is a such a special program in that it emphasizes that nothing is too big too tackle, and that anything can be overcome. That is so important.”
No less important to the crowd, however, was a video of a young man that it seemed every one there knew. Suddenly, the halls were silent as the young man related how his year had gone, how he had struggled to survive and had seen a miracle because of his friends sitting in that room.
“Every time I strapped up, the straps of the tefillin were connecting me to God and to all of you. I had that fat stack of mitzvah cards to look at, each one with a different name, when things got tough, said the young man on the video. The teens watched avidly, and then exploded in applause as the young man in the video materialized before their eager eyes, striding up to the podium with spotlights playing around the darkened room and video screens beaming the scene to the second hall.
More than 1,500 Jewish teens and 100 Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis who operate teen programs around the world are set to gather in Brooklyn, NY this weekend for the “Cteen International Convention.”
The event is intended to honor teens who have made a significant difference in the local communities through the group’s humanitarian and social service projects.
Teens are expected to arrive from as far away as Brazil, Hong Kong, France, England, Australia, Israel, Canada, Germany and Singapore as well as local teens from the U.S.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recorded a video message to address the teens. Two large screens in the Big Apple’s iconic Times Square will be playing Cteen-related footage on Saturday night, Feb. 28, Chabad officials said.
The Jewish welfare organization Colel Chabad this week hosted a Bat Mitzvah celebration in Jerusalem for 36 girls who have lost a parent.
Most of the parents died from illness or terror attacks, and one Bat Mitzvah girl’s father was the first Israel Defense Forces casualty during last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas.
“Family milestones can be much more stressful and difficult, both financially and emotionally, without a parent,” said Rabbi Amram Blau, director of Colel Chabad’s bar and bat mitzvah program for bereaved youths, known as Chesed Menachem Mendel. “It’s heartwarming to see the joy on the faces of these young women and their families in reaching this momentous occasion.”
“The world gains strength from you young women,” said Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi, a popular Torah scholar who spoke at the bat mitzvah event.
“When we see your beautiful smiling faces, glowing from this special celebration, and we know all the hardships you have been through, we can’t help but feel that we must smile and be happy as well,” she added.
In eastern Ukraine, Jews are scrambling to survive as fighting intensifies between Russian-backed rebels and the Ukraine army.
At least nine people were killed this morning (Jan. 22) when a civilian bus was shelled in the city of Donetsk, capital of the province bearing the same name. The Ukraine defense ministry told the BBC that its troops have retreated from the main terminal of Donetsk airport, which is not in use. The facility still has symbolic value for both sides, however, and the army’s loss of the terminal is a major victory for the rebels.
More than 4,800 have died and some 1.2 million are homeless since the rebels seized control last April over parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The move followed Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, a peninsula which belonged to Ukraine.
In the Lugansk (also called “Luhansk”) Jewish community, things have remained relatively quiet, according to local Jewish sources who asked for anonymity. But one can hear the sounds of war not far away, and a family can lose all its food if the house is left alone for more than a day.
Hungry neighbors feel no shame in foraging for anything they can find – anywhere – even in the homes of others.
Trains no longer go into Lugansk, a community member explains, and “the connection with Ukraine is growing dimmer by the day.”
For the Jews in the city, a major lifeline of support has been thrown by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. The organization funds Chabad-run refugee camps in the region, and sends thousands of care packages to needy Jewish families in the battered Donbass region. Likewise, Ohr Avner and the Rohr Family Foundation have been continued pillars of support essential to helping the Jews of eastern Ukraine survive.
Some Jews from the region have managed to reach Israel via aliyah already, but many still remain in Ukraine. Those who have chosen to escape the horror — even if it means moving to a strange new land and learning a new language — at least have a familiar face to greet them: exiled Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Lugansk, Rabbi Sholom Gopin and his wife Chana are in Israel too.
The Gopins were forced to move temporarily to Kfar Chabad due to the intense fighting in the region. Gopin told Chabad.org recently that he makes the three and a half hour flight back and forth to Ukraine often in order to visit community members and ensure that help gets through to those still living in Lugansk.
In Donetsk, not so far from Lugansk, the Jewish community is also struggling but has seen more violence. Last September, just before Rosh HaShanah, the community lost one of its prominent members to rebel banditry.
Garik Zylberbord, 47, was shot to death while trying to stop pro-Russian rebels from robbing his neighbor’s home. Zylberbord was a community leader and a long-time friend of the exiled chief rabbi and co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Donetsk, Rabbi Pinchas Vishedski.
Having made plans to meet the rabbi in a few days in Kiev where Vishedski had been forced to flee with his family just two weeks prior, Zylberbord appeared earlier than planned, the rabbi noted sorrowfully: to attend his own funeral.
Vishedski and his wife Dina have set up a Donetsk Jewish community office in Kiev to help the lost and struggling Jews of his city who found refuge there and in other parts of Ukraine. “Calls start at the crack of dawn and don’t stop the entire day,” said Vishedski, “not only from poor families but now also from regular, middle-class people who also have no money or food right now.”