New European Revolution
was indeed a historic event. Not too many years ago, there were hardly
any shluchim in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Unlike most
other countries in the free world, which have been conquered by
Lubavitch and the Rebbe MH”M, these countries didn’t really have a
Chabad presence. In recent years however, Germany, Austria, and
Switzerland have become part of the worldwide Chabad empire, and, baruch
Hashem, today there are shluchim and rabbanim who
serve large communities there.
Chassidim around the world have grown accustomed to hearing about the
accomplishments in these countries: the growing number of students in
the schools; the expanding shuls; the level of identification in
and involvement with Yiddishkeit, which continues to grow, along with a
growing awareness of the relevance of practical Judaism in the daily
life of the Jewish residents there - all this and more thrills and
after a number of years of tremendous outreach work, and after making
excellent government connections, which has enabled them to continue to
grow and expand, the time was ripe for a convention. On 15 Tammuz there
was a Kinus HaShluchim in Vienna, Austria for shluchim coming
from fourteen large cities in three German-speaking countries. The shluchim
met, discussed and shared experiences over the two day conference at the
magnificent Chabad-Lauder campus in Vienna.
topics they covered were many and varied. The basis for their meeting
was the attempt to work together, considering the single language which
unites the three countries, for the benefit of all. For example, pegishos
with Chabad. Shabbatons for Jewish youth in Europe are an accepted
practice. The shluchim discussed the idea of holding Chabad
Shabbatons in resort areas for German-speaking Jewish youth with a cadre
of shluchim at their disposal. Another idea that was seriously
discussed was the establishment of an information center on all areas of
Judaism. The center would include all sorts of necessary information in
German for the study of Jewish thought and practice, and would be
available to the shluchim, making it easy for them to get what
they need without having to waste precious time. There will be two lines
operating from the center: one providing the necessary information
needed by the shluchim, which would basically fulfill the primary
purpose of the center, i.e., to assist the shluchim, the other
line would be for incoming reports and information that would keep the
center apprised of upcoming events and developments. So as soon as s shaliach
hears about something important, he can easily inform the others about
discussed the organization of a mobile Jewish exhibit for children which
will travel from city to city. It will be built along the lines of
Tzivos Hashem’s Expo in the U.S. They also decided to jointly publish
a newspaper of 40,000 copies. The editing and publishing of the paper
will be done, aside from input from the shluchim themselves, by
six professionals who will guarantee the quality of the paper.
addition to the workshops and discussions which you would expect at a
convention of this kind, each day began with mikva and Chassidus
at seven in the morning. After the davening the shluchim
used their free time to learn before getting into the day’s program.
Rabbi Dovid Nussbaum, shaliach in Saltzburg, Austria and rav of
the city, couldn’t make it to the convention because his wife gave
birth to twins on the first day. Rabbi Nussbaum was supposed to have
given the shiur on inyanei Moshiach and Geula,
which he did in the end via telephone.
lawyer Edward Feigen, an expert on reparations for Holocaust survivors
and for mosdos that carry on the work of the mosdos which
operated before the war, addressed the shluchim. He informed the shluchim
of the rights of Chabad mosdos. According to Feigen, about
40% of the money designated to Jewish mosdos rightfully belongs
to mosdos Chabad.
was also a workshop on using the Internet.
convention made headlines in Austria. The presence of the media was
greatest, of course, when the shluchim were invited to meet with
the President of Austria, Thomas Klastil, who hosted a special ceremony
for the shluchim at his palace. The old and famous palace, which
Kaiser Franz Josef once used, served as a source of honor for the Rebbe
MH”M and the work of his shluchim.
shluchim met with the President for an hour and also toured the
palace. The President took an interest in their work and declared he
would do all in his power in order to guarantee them the greatest
possible government support.
Austrian shluchim pointed out that Mr. Klastil is generally known
as a cold person, who designates very short time slots even for
important events, yet this time they could see how much he truly
appreciates their work, as he gave them so much of his time.
was said at the Kinus about the immigration of Russian Jews to
these countries. In Germany in particular, the numbers have grown
greatly, with the number of Jews there having grown from 25,000 to
90,000, whereas in other places the numbers are shrinking due to
assimilation. Those who addressed this issue were mainly those shluchim
who work with Russian Jews.
shluchim decided to publish a German translation of the Tanya
by 18 Elul. The project has been worked on for over two years now.
atmosphere at the Kinus was very special. There was a prominent
sense that a spiritual revolution was in the making in these countries,
where up until now there was only a spiritual wasteland. One of the shluchim
said that in the time of the Maggid of Mezritch, when emissaries
were sent to many locations in order to disseminate Chassidus, for some
reason they did not go to these countries. Apparently, the sparks hidden
there weren’t ready to be refined. The Rebbe didn’t send shluchim
to these countries right away either. Many other places were cultivated
by shluchim before things began moving here, but now the
revolution is in full force, and now these final locations are also
preparing to greet Moshiach.