Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Chabad Shaliach in Rehavia (Jerusalem) or How a new Shaliach is setting up his Center


Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg is the new Chabad Shaliach of Jerusalem's neighbourhood Rehavia. When I heard this news I thought that it would be an interesting subject writing about "How a Chabad House is actually established ?" How a new Shaliach is being chosen for the job, how he finds a location and everything else around. So, I met Rabbi Goldberg who is more than energetic. The father of five children is full of plans. As soon as a location is found, a Synagogue will be established. Rabbi Goldberg already has a Torah scroll ready for use. Shiurim (classes) will be given and during Sukkot, a huge celebration is going to take place. Probably at the Independence Park (Jerusalem).
The Rabbi's main concern is, however, trying to make a connection to each individual. Whoever has an issue or any question may come and ask him.

Rabbi Goldberg told me some details about "How a Shaliach is actually chosen today":

Every Chabad Shaliach basically chooses his place. Wherever he feels comfortable. As soon the potential Shaliach has made up his mind about a certain location in the world, he contacts the head shaliach of this particular country and then the decision is made.
When the seventh and last Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson was still alive, he usually gave a blessing to the new Shaliach. In case the Shaliach had a few places and couldn't make up his mind which one to choose, he went to the Rebbe for advice. Today, however, some Shlichim go to the grave of the Rebbe. They don't really get a blessing in the literal sense but they hope that somehow the Rebbe may have a positive influence.

Once a new Shaliach has made up his mind he comes to the new country and starts setting up a Chabad Center on his own. Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg stressed that it also depends on the Shaliach's wife because she has to like the place, as a Shaliach remains in his position for the rest of his life.

Every Shaliach is responsible for the finances of HIS own center and no one from Crown Heights is going to help him with that. The Shlichim depend on donations. When I mentioned to Rabbi Goldberg that this must be hard job (collecting donations), as there are hundreds of Shlichim he said that everyone has to build his own connections and one needs a special look for where one gets the money from.

Many Jews living in Jerusalem are looking for a firm community / Synagogue. I myself like doing Shul Shopping but there are times when I get tired of it. Although I am not Chabad I will look into the new center (when established). Why not ? Unfortunately Chabad is, besides Breslov, the only Chassidut where there are chassidic classes for every Jew. However, I do admit that Chabad is basically teaching itself (besides the Baal Shem Tov, the Zohar, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria and the Mezritcher Maggid).

I will stay in touch with Rabbi Goldberg and let you know what is happening.
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