Last week, Jerry Silverman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Jewish Federations of North America, met with Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the Chabad-Lubavitch educational and social services. Silverman was accompanied by Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie of Chabad of Yorba Linda who has been spearheading the effort to build greater cooperation between Chabad and the Federations.
During the visit at Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters, Rabbi Krinsky reminded Silverman of the Federation’s partnerships with Chabad under the leadership of both the sixth Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.
Hearing of his scheduled visit to Israel, Rabbi Krinsky told him of Chabad’s activities in the country, and on his subsequent visit earlier this week to Israel, Silverman visited Ashkelon, where he had the opportunity to see for himself.
Israel’s southern city has sustained relentless missile attacks by Palestinian terrorists. Silverman met with local Chabad representatives, leaders and activists addressing the city’s social services and educational needs. Some 18% of Ashkelon’s children are enrolled in Chabad’s K-12 schools in the city.
Silverman was particularly interested in meeting with the children to learn how they handled the disruption of sirens and the fear of falling missiles that send them running to bomb shelters for cover.
While in Israel, Rabbi Mendel Lieberman, director of Chabad of Ashkelon, guided the Federation head on a tour through the Colel Chabad soup kitchen and through their school for children with special needs.
“The core principles of the Federation are education, kindness and the entirety of the Jewish nation. The principles of Chabad implement these ideals in their activities in Ashkelon,” said Silverman.