Chabad Men’s International Banquet
Sunday, November 27 | 5:00pm
By reservation only

What Is “the Kinus HaShluchim”?

Kinus is Hebrew for “gathering” or “conference.” The Kinus Hashluchim (International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries) is a yearly event, in which thousands of shluchim gather to share inspiration, ideas and goals, leaving rejuvenated and ready to carry on their work with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

The Kinus Today

Taking the place of the Rebbe’s address, since the Rebbe’s passing in June, 1994, the kinus opens with a group visit to the Rebbe’s resting place, where the shluchim request the Rebbe’s blessing and inspiration for success in their shlichut and for blessings for the entire Jewish People.

Directing the kinus on behalf of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the Lubavitch movement’s educational arm, officer Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky presides over a planning committee and a virtual army of staff and volunteers who lovingly put in place the seemingly endless logistics year-round to ensure successful conferences.

As the number of shluchim has doubled, tripled and quadrupled, it has become increasingly difficult to find a hosting venue for the conferences, especially for the closing banquet, which supporters and parents of shluchim may attend as well. In recent years, organizers have shown creativity by taking raw spaces such as armories and piers and converting them into a ballroom for a night.

The final banquet is broadcast live on Jewish.TV, enabling tens of thousands to tune in. Many have reported that seeing these incredibly dedicated emissaries celebrating the Jewish People with boundless joy is truly awe inspiring.

For many shluchim, the kinus is the high point of the year, a time to refocus, relive, reflect and rejoice.

Who Are the Shluchim?

The shluchim (plural of shliach, which means “agent” or “emissary”) are men and women who were dispatched by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, to communities all over the globe to dedicate their lives to serve the Jewish people. You can find them in far-flung places such as India, Nepal or Siberia, and you can usually also find them closer to home, too, in your own community.

They labor to connect Jews to their heritage, raise Jewish awareness andmitzvah observance, and teach Torah. Yet their mission isn’t only a spiritual one; the Rebbe charged them to discover what the unique needs of their respective communities are and to selflessly provide those, opening their hearts and homes and helping every Jew in any way they can.

Immediately upon assuming leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the Rebbe personally called upon individual disciples and asked them to move to specific locations to spread Judaism. Later on, as the movement grew and communities starting turning to Lubavitch requesting a movement representative, prospective shluchim would submit location ideas to the Rebbe for his approval. As things grew ever larger, the Rebbe—drawing support from the Talmudic rule that an emissary can appoint another emissary—encouraged the senior shluchim to appoint yet more shluchim.

Today, there are more than 4,000 families of shluchim in 75 countries all around the world, continuing the Rebbe’s charge to spread the Torah’s teachings and inspiration far and wide.

Lay Leaders

While the Rabbis and Rebbetzins have dedicated their lives to serving the Jewish people, the Rebbe would often say that “everyone is an emissary.” In recent years the kinus expanded to include a special program for lay leaders from local communities. As guests of the emmisaries, the lay leaders partake of their own mini-conference, sharing notes and deriving inspiration from one another. They join together with the emissaries for the gala banquet, which closes the event.