Chabad’s annual conference celebrates 120 new Jewish community centers worldwide

The conference is a week-long event and allows most of Chabad's 5,646 rabbis the opportunity to meet with friends and colleagues.

 Thousands of Shluchim pose for a “class picture” outside Chabad World Headquarters (photo credit: Shalom Burkis - Kinus.com)
Thousands of Shluchim pose for a “class picture” outside Chabad World Headquarters
(photo credit: Shalom Burkis - Kinus.com)

Thousands of Chabad-Lubavitch shluchim (“emissaries”) and their guests from all 50 US states, and more than 100 states and territories around the world, arrived in New York to participate in the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchim).

This year’s conference follows a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The conference is a week-long event and allows most of Chabad’s 5,646 rabbis the opportunity to meet with friends and colleagues. Many new rabbis will participate this year.

In the past 12 months, 120 new Chabad centers have been established, the organization said.

During the event, 36 Torah scrolls will be completed simultaneously. Most of the scrolls are written by Chabad emissaries.

A survey of synagogues in the United States, in the two decades prior to 2021, shows that Chabad congregations grew by 199% to 1,036 from 346.

 Thousands of Shluchim pose for a “class picture” outside Chabad World Headquarters (credit: Shalom Burkis - Kinus.com) Thousands of Shluchim pose for a “class picture” outside Chabad World Headquarters (credit: Shalom Burkis - Kinus.com)

Chabad will announce new cities to receive shluchim

During the conference, Chabad will announce the new cities to receive shluchim, including Puerto de la Cruz, a city on the island of Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands. The new shluchim to the city are Rabbi Noam Rosen, who together with his wife, Chava, will be establishing Chabad of the Canary Islands-Tenerife. The couple will be moving to Tenerife together with their daughter in time for Hanukkah according to Chabad.org.

The culmination of the activity-filled weekend is a Sunday-night gala dinner for 6,500 emissaries and guests, including dignitaries, communal and lay leaders, and supporters from communities around the world.

According to Chabad.org, Rabbi David Lau, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel and Rabbi Sholom Gottlieb of Mykolaiv, Ukraine, will open the gathering with the recitation of Tehillim (Psalms) followed by a Dvar Torah from Rabbi Avraham Feldman of Reykjavik, Iceland.

Seven emissaries will then give reports on their activities during the seven decades from the 1950s to the present. Emissaries are eagerly anticipating the keynote address from philanthropist and businessman George Rohr, who has been at the heart of Chabad’s growth for decades, and, following the annual roll call, the event will conclude with the completion of the Torah scrolls and a rousing celebration with spirited hassidic dancing.

Behind the scenes, one of the most pressing matters is the discussions on the situation of Jewish communities in Ukraine and Russia. Both countries have a huge Chabad presence and are dominated by the emissaries of the movement. Therefore, there are also tensions between some of the rabbis in both countries.