More than 1200 women attended the Gala Banquet Dinner of the International Conference of Shluchos 5763/2003 last night, January 26. The Conference, which began this week, is sponsored by Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Lubavitch.
The Gala Banquet at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel is the highlight event of the 4-day conference, which is always scheduled to correspond to the Jewish calendar date of 22 Shevat, the anniversary of the passing in 1988, of the late Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia Schneerson. The Rebbetzin, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menqchem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, serves as the inspiration for these conferences.
The Conference packed four days of workshops, seminars and lectures back to back, giving the Shluchos—(feminine for Shluchim or emissaries) who hold leadership positions in the fields of education, school administration, fundraising, adult education, family counseling, campus activities, among many others in their respective communities, an opportunity to learn from other experts, and to participate in a dynamic exchange of ideas in the world of Jewish outreach.
The Conference board, a team of women, each of whom is a Shlucha in her respective community, has carefully considered the program to facilitate a rewarding experience for the guests, many of whom have traveled halfway around the world to attend the conference.
“This conference underscores the dynamic and vibrant position of women in the Jewish community. The Rebbe emphasized that women are empowered to particpate as full partners in the work of Shlichus,” observed Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, conference chairman.
The Conference addressed as its theme, the impact of the number 101, as examined in the Tanya. “This is the 101st year since the Rebbe’s birth,” says Rabbi Krinsky, “and there is much to be learned from the significance of this number.”
According to Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, director of the conference, attendance at the conference grows from year to year. “This is simply a reflection of how quickly new Chabad Houses are opening up all over the world,” says Rabbi Kotlarsky who conducts a dramatic roll call at the banquet, with names of locations that are often unfamiliar and far from civilization as we know it.