A shaliach (Hebrew: שליח, pl. שליחים/שלוחים, shlichim/shluchim) is a member of the Chabad Hasidic movement who is sent out to promulgate Judaism and Hasidism in locations around the world. As of 2010, Chabad Shluchim number about 4,500 worldwide, and can be found in the most remote worldly locales.
Starting in the 1950s, the Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, sent many thousands of shluchim all over the world, often to remote locations, to bring Jews closer to Judaism through his mitzvah campaigns and to assist Jewish communities worldwide in their religious needs.
The Rebbe told Rabbi G.M. Garelick when he went out to Milano, "[Y]ou will be a Rabbi of a shul, headmaster of a school, director of a camp and a counselor for people, but none of it will truly define what you will do in Milan. It will be above and beyond all of it – you'll be a Shaliach."
The Kinus Hashluchim (Hebrew: כנוס השלוחים, lit. Assembly of Emissaries) is the annual gathering of Chabad shluchim held in the fall of each year. The conference is typically held in New York City on the weekend prior to the new Hebrew month of Kislev. Over 4,000 shluchim gather each year, making the assembly the largest rabbinical conference in the world.
A similar conference is held each winter for the shluchos (wives of the rabbis), typically proximate to the yahrtzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson. The 2011 Kinus Hashluchos was a four-day affair including general sessions, nearly 100 workshops, an expo and resource fair, and a banquet attended by close to 3,000 women. One of the highlights of the banquet is the roll call which calls on shluchos who began their service in each decade (the 1940s, the 1950s, etc.) to stand to applause.
Both Kinusim are simulcast in multiple languages and have extensive tracking, including programs for lay leaders and children.
- Shliach to South Carolina, retold on a recent Merkoz Shlichus excursion.
- "Kinus Hashluchos 5771", Binah, 7 February 2011, p. 42.
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