Chabad Shluchim formed a large percentage of the delegation that visited the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva before Yom Kippur.
The meeting was arranged by Mr. Jack Terpins, president of the Latin American Jewish Congress, a close friend of President Lula, as well as an active member on the shul board of Rabbi Yossi Schildkraut of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The delegation was very warmly received by President Lula and he praised Chabad for the wonderful work they were doing, in helping the poor residents of Brazil. As a leader who spent his youth in poverty, his campaigns of eradicating hunger from the country coincide with Chabad’s humanitarian aid projects.
“I appreciate your religion and tradition, and it is a respect that grows from year to year,” President Lula said.
Head Shliach of Brazil, Rabbi Shabsai Alpern, gave the president a heartfelt blessing, and Rabbi Yossi Schildkraut presented the president with ornate silver ‘yad’, the pointer of a torah scroll, and a basket of traditional round challah, apples and honey.
The dignitaries that also included Chabad Rabbis Yehoshua Goldman and Yossi Shimonavitch, Boris Ber, president of the Federation of the State of Sao Paulo, Sergio Nisker, the president of the Federation of Rio de Janeiro, and a delegation from Argentina and Chile were treated to a rousing rendition of the classic holiday tunes from a renowned cantor.