Womens Conference.JPGOver 2,500 Chabad-Lubavitch shluchos, representing communities from dozens of countries, converged at Lubavitch headquarters in New York at the end of January.

The six-day event included educational multi-media presentations, discussions, and workshops focusing on life in service of the global Jewish community. There were also lectures by renowned speakers, as well as entertainment and networking opportunities. A grand gala banquet at the Hilton Ballroom in Manhattan concluded this annual conference.

Among the speakers was Mrs Chana Lipskar, whose keynote address told of her journey, which began in 1969, when she and her husband were assigned to Florida by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. She explained how she managed to cope through the first difficult decades of her life in Bal Harbor by remembering what the Rebbe had told her: ‘I am going with you, but [go] with joy.’ She said it was these words that lessened her sense of feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the mission and made it possible for her to embrace it and fulfil it with joy.

Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the Chabad Lubavitch educational and social services division, also had an important message to deliver when he called on the shluchos to care for themselves as they care for others. In his address to the guests at the banquet, he said: ‘You must always be healthy and strong to keep the fires of shlichus burning. The Rebbe needs you – the Jewish people need you, happily and in good health. The world needs your light.’

Attendees benefited from the conference in all sorts of ways. For one first-timer, the chance to meet experienced representatives and get tips on meeting new people and making smaller events meaningful had been invaluable, while a director of a Hebrew school in New York had found a session on motivating students and incorporating technology into the classroom very useful. And for some, the best part of the conference was the rare opportunity to just get away and be taken care of both spiritually and physically.

The next International Conferene of Chabad Lubavitch Shluchos will be from 11-16 February 2015.