No hurricane winds were felt in South Florida on Sunday and Monday, Rosh Chodesh and 2 Elul (September 4-5). Rather, the winds of Elul were felt – especially with the power and energy generated by the annual two-day southern regional Kinus Hashluchim convention, held this year at the newly renovated Chabad of South Broward headquarters. Over 120 shluchim participated.
The program began with registration and lunch followed by an hour of intense study of the meaning of Elul and it significance as articulated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Then a general session was called to order and all were welcomed by Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus, head shliach of South Broward.
First to be called to the podium was Rabbi Abraham Korf, head shliach to the state of Florida, who delivered emotional greetings and warm words of encouragement.
Rabbi Chay Amar gave a heartfelt talk about the importance of Hakhel and all its expressions in Elul.
Rabbi Yossi Lebovics, principal of the Chaya Aydel Seminary, encouraged the shluchim to tap in to the many programs the seminary offers that can benefit their shlichus.
Rabbi Mendy Katz of the Aleph Institute spoke next and reminded the shluchim of the important work with prisoners and soldiers. Rabbi Leibel Miller spoke about chevrah kadisha.
After an in depth workshop on Chabad House security, the shluchim participated in a number of round-table discussions.
After Minchah and a group photo, the shluchim were directed to the Max and Eve Rubenstein Main Sanctuary that had been transformed for the occasion into a beautiful banquet ballroom. Yossi Gopin and Kosher Central caterers made the evening and the kinus the success it was.
Highlights of the banquet included an eloquent dvar malchus by Rabbi Leibel Schapiro, a touching and inspiring talk by lay leader Paul (Pesach Sholom) Sussman, who spoke about his journey to Yiddishkeit from Tibet and his encounters with the Rebbe.
Monday morning began with chassidus study and davening followed by breakfast.
A general session covering the two topics of hiskashrus and working together with neighboring shluchim was helpful to many. Rabbis Korf, Lipskar, Biston, and Tennenhaus shared many invaluable ideas and experiences.
With a feeling of renewed energy and much optimism, the shluchim expressed their appreciation to the organizers of the kinus, Rabbi Tennenhaus, Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, Rabbi Leizer Barash, and especially the main organizer, Rabbi Mordy Feiner.Chaim Lehrer