(JTA) – Nearly 6,000 Chabad rabbis and lay leaders participated last week in the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries. The rabbis come from all 50 U.S. states and some 100 countries. The most recent Chabad center was established in Kigali, Rwanda, becoming the Central African nation’s first synagogue. The annual conference banquet on Nov. 24 filled the New Jersey Convention Center. The keynote address was given by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. He has been study partners with a Chabad rabbi in Woodmere, New York, on Long Island, for more than two decades.
In the wake of the April shooting at the Chabad center in Poway, California, the rabbis participated in seminars and workshops on the topics of combating antisemitism, the pressing need for moral education and fostering Jewish pride in the face of growing hostility, among other topics. They also visited the Ohel, the last Lubavitcher Rebbe’s gravesite. The thousands of emissaries waited in line to deliver handwritten notes to the grave.