Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In Turbulent Ukraine, Shluchim Unite

For the Jews of Ukraine, this past year has been one of extreme turmoil.

This challenging year has seen revolutions, war, and economic collapse. Through all the unrest and tension, Jews throughout Ukraine have reached to the shluchim for support, and the shluchim continue to provide for their needs – both practical and spiritual -  with devotion.

This past Shabbos provided a much needed chance for the shluchim of Ukraine to recharge their batteries. Thanks to the devotion of Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’lnyonei Chinuch, and to the shliach Rabbi Ben Tzion Lipsker of the Meromim Foundation, close to twenty shluchim from Ukraine came together for a ‘Shabbos Achdus’, a Shabbos  which will be remembered forever. The shluchim came from all over the country, driving from as far as 20 hours to Dniepropetrovsk.

The Shabbaton was held in the beautiful Menorah Center in Dniepropetrovsk, the ‘largest Jewish center in the world’.

5 star accommodations and delicious catered meals were just the beginning of the experience. Each minute of the 4 day program was filled with action. The children loved being together with other young shluchim from Ukraine, and especially the special activities arranged just for them. It was precious to see the faces of the young shluchim, enjoying kosher ice cream as a rare treat. The shluchim and shluchos had separate farbrengens and workshops. The families especially enjoyed the trips together including a boat ride, an action-packed park with rides and rope course, and a fascinating and tasty visit to a chocolate factory.

The shluchim returned to their prospective communities rejuvenated and inspired, convinced that their achdus will help to bring brocha and peace to their country
The Shabbaton was made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, and to the Meromim Foundation. Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, head shliach of Dniepropetrovsk generously gave of his time and resources to enable this to be the most comfortable experience all around.

Special thanks to Rabbi Moshe Weber of Dniepropetrovsk for attending to every detail and to Rabbi Yisroel Silberstein of Chernigov for coordinating the event.

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