The 18th annual conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Shluchos, known more simply as “the Kinus,” is in session at Lubavitch Headquarters. With more than 1700 women registered for tonight’s main event, the banquet dinner at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel, the conference’s highlight event will soon be going the way of the men’s banquet, which has outgrown all facilities in Brooklyn and has had to move it to Manhattan.
Along with the Shluchos—or female representatives—are about 150 lay leaders who have joined their respective Shluchos from around the world. A program designed for the lay leaders running parallel to the Conference program, introduced the guests to Shluchot and fellow lay leaders who were drawn to Chabad under interesting and sometimes unlikely circumstances.
“I feel tremendously enriched by the beauty and depth of the women I’ve met –I found both the Shluchot and the guests extraordinarily, fascinating,” says Jackie Bocian from Palo Alto, California. Jackie, a founder of several Jewish day schools and other non-profits in the Bay Area, says that because of her experience at this Conference, “we will double our efforts on behalf of Chabad.” Jackie came to the Kinus with her daughter Shani, after becoming close to their local Chabad representative, Dina Levin, in Palo Alto. “These are powerful intelligent, soulful women, and there is no doubt that my daughter and I will return again and again.”
The Conference program opened Thursday evening and is packed with sessions and presentations in various languages, on the entire gamut of issues relevant to Jewish outreach.
More than 60 countries are represented at the Conference with more than 400 Shluchos from Russia alone. Hundreds of Jewish communities in Europe and South America are well represented, as are the small, isolated Jewish communities in places like China, the Congo, India and beyond. The United States, with Shluchos in almost all of the states has the largest contingent.
The Conference commemorates the yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory. Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the educational and social services divisions at Lubavitch Headquarters, and secretary to the Rebbe for more than 40 years, will address the conference at the banquet.
Mrs. Diane Abrams, of Brown Harris Stevens and wife of former New York State Attorney General, Bob Abrams, is guest speaker. Mrs. Abrams had many personal exchanges with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, chairman of the Conference, and Vice Chairman of the Lubavitch educational division, will open the evening. Also scheduled to speak is Bluma Rivkin, Chabad representative to New Orleans. The program is expected to run for about five hours, with an appearance by junior Shluchos, and the dramatic roll call of Chabad representatives worldwide, including the most recent additions of Laos and Luxembourg.