(lubavitch.com) On Monday, January 15, the international Chabad-Lubavitch community commemorated Yud Shevat, the day that in 1950, marked the transition between the sixth leader of Chabad, Rabbi Joseph I. Schneersohn, and its seventh leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
Also participating were 3,000 rabbinical students from Chabad yeshivas who convened at Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters in New York. Many came from as far as Venezuela and Australia.
According to Yossi Bendet, member of Vaad Talmidei Hatmimim, the umbrella organization that arranges educational programming for students of the Lubavitch network of yeshivas, the conference was introduced six years ago as increasing numbers of students made the annual pilgrimage to Chabad world Headquarters.
"The 10th of Shvat draws the largest gathering of Chabad yeshivah students around the world." Bendet says. "In order to tap into the energy of the commemoration, a series of educational workshops and programs have been developed for the students."
Addressing the students, a panel of prominent rabbis explored various phases in Chabad’s leadership and outreach in the course of the last sixty years, as well as a tour of various historic sites in Crown Heights, including the apartment and office of the Previous Rebbe rarely shown to the public.
The convention ended with a festive banquet, celebrating the accomplishments and anticipating the challenges ahead of these rabbinical students training for community leadership.
In his keynote address, Rabbi Shmuel Lew, a member of Lubavitch of the UK’s executive board, encouraged the students to apply themselves more intensely to their studies and their outreach activities.
"Today we see dedication to the Rebbe's work in an unprecedented manner. You [the students] have the power to become leaders who will reach out to literally millions of others."
The event was also broadcast online with a live simulcast.
Photo Essay Van Halem Studio