Jewish Life Centre- LIVE

New afternoon shiur series

Study ClassNow, this is exciting! Rabbi Avtzon launched a new initiative last week and it is already pulling in the crowds. Each afternoon before Mincha, we're hosting a shiur at the New Centre. At the moment, the shiur starts at 4:30 each afternoon.

Already about 10 men come each day- and you could join them!

The shiurim are given by: Mendy Shishlers on Sunday, Rabbi Ari Shishler on Mondays, Rabbi Levi Avtzon on Tuesdays and Thursdays and David Alswang on Wednesdays.

There are refreshments on hand too :) 

Trip to New York

Wow! What we packed into four days in NY could have rivalled the Iron Man. It certainly was worthwhile- what a trip!

Day one saw started spiritually in the Rebbe's room and library and continued from the studios of Jewish Educational Media to the sparkling view from atop the Rockefeller Centre.


We spent our Friday morning at the Ohel (resting place of the Rebbe) , where we learned about the power of davening at such a holy place. The group then spent time formatting petitions for brochos and davening at the Ohel. 

Despite the unexpected downpour, most of the crowd remained there davening in the rain (which was incredibly inspiring to see).

Then the rain really came down, trapping us for longer than expected at the Ohel (not a bad thing). Most of the group managed to get off to the famed "Pomegranate" all-kosher supermarket in Flatbush, while one group of us remained behind due to weather-traffic issues and eventually headed back to Crown Heights (and a delicious lunch at the new Basil restaurant- highly recommended).

Chassidic artist, Michoel Muchnik opened his gallery for us before Shabbos and then the classic Crown Heights air-raid Shabbos siren signalled that as long as a summer Friday looks, Shabbos always comes in before you expect it. 26.jpg

Friday night Shul in 770 was powerful and inspiring- you would never have guessed that a huge segment of the community was away for the summer. The reverberating singing and chorus of "Amen!" makes for a highly inspiring davening. An added bonus was sitting next to expat Dr. Eli Rosen, who gave our group a very warm welcome.

Meanwhile, the women enjoyed a spiritual session with Shimona Tzukernik (also an expat) on the meaning of the Shabbos candles. Dinner only started at 10pm, but was a culinary adventure (loads of food, thanks to Rabbi Avtzon's aunt, our hostess), song and Torah thoughts.

Shabbos day included another bout at 770 (with a very protective Crown Heightser who ensured that everyone was guided through the davening experience), a post-Shul farbrengen at "Getzels' (a shtibel with a good compliment of expats), lunch with Rabbi Moshe Klein (our local Rabbi Klein's brother) and an excellent shiur by Shimonah. You'd think with all that eating, nobody would be ready for another meal after Shabbos, but we managed another restaurant stop anyway. (If you haven't picked it up, we ate fortunes of great food on this trip).

32.jpgSunday took us back to the Ohel (this time in gorgeous weather) and with a few extra recruits who were inspired to join us too. Please G-d, we should all receive the brochos that we davened for. 

 We also managed to experience the uniquely creative Jewish Children's Museum- which was mind-blowing! The creativity and thought that has gone into making this Disney-style fact-packed educational experience that is as inspiring for adults as it is to kids.

All in all, the whole NY trip was amazing!





What a powerful start to our NY trip!

It is just wonderful to spend time with members of our community in the vibrant and inspiring atmosphere of NYC. 

07.jpgToday, we had the privelege of davening in the Rebbe's room, where he would receive tens of thousands of people for private audiences. The room is only open at certain times and is a very holy place to daven.

We also enjoyed a tour of some of the unique artifacts that are part of the famous Agudas Chassidei Chabad library (a.k.a. the Rebbe's library, home to some 250 000 Judaica books). 05.jpg
Following close on that was a full tour of the Jewish Educational Media (they produce the videos of the Rebbe, like Living Torah) production suite.11.jpg Everyone was impressed by just how jacked-up their operation is. Add to that some delicious ice cream, NY deli supper 15.jpg
and watching the city lights from the Top of the Rock and it was a super day. 

We've also experienced amazing little incidents of Divine Providence, like bumping into the midtown busker, "Yoel" (Larry) who spontaneously started playing the niggun of the Rebbe's father as we walked past him yesterday. 

I had to ask him if he knew what song he was playing (somehow we hadn't yet noticed the magen dovid tattoo and didn't realise he was Jewish). He proudly replied that this was a Chabad niggun (his words). I then explained to him that this particular niggun had been composed by the Rebbe's father- which impressed him. Then I told him that he had chosen well because it was the Rebbe's father's yartzeit that very day. Well, Larry- or Yoel- was so excited he literally jumped up, played it again (we did a little sidewalk dance) and emotionally told us that we had made his day (he didn't even want payment for his performance). 

There is a healthy Jewish spark in every Jew, even one who you could pass on the street without thinking (or wanting to believe that) he or she is "one of us". 

Sometimes it takes a lively niggun (a bit of simcha) to bring that spark to the surface. You can watchLarry's performance by clicking here.

Chabad Strathavon group to the Rebbe


The first of our group (me included) jets off to New York this evening. PG towards the end of the week, all 17 of us will be together for a very powerful, life-altering experience. 

Please check back here to see updates and pics from the trip.  

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