by Menachem Posner
Twenty Chabad couples will soon be dispatched to serve as leaders for youth and young adults in Jewish communities all across the globe.
The new couples are being recruited, trained, placed and funded as part of the Global Jewish Youth Initiative that was launched in November at the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries in New York. Unlike most of the thousands of emissaries currently in the field, these couples will focus exclusively on teens and young professionals.
“The Rebbe emphasized many times that the key to creating widespread change in Jewish life is through youth,” says Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, director of the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries and vice chairman of Merkos L’lnyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. “Through engaging them with consistent, meaningful Jewish experiences that continue throughout their teenage years and into adulthood, we are confident that the next generation of Jewish people will be even stronger, more committed and more learned than ever before.”
The initiative is the product of a brainstorming session attended by 50 Chabad emissaries last summer. Kotlarsky says the grants have been underwritten by a young donor who himself benefited from Chabad programming for young people and wished to share the experience with Jewish youth the world over.
The 20 grants are a tribute to the upcoming 20th anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.