28 Shlichim from all over North America gathered in Montreal on Shabbat Parshat Toldot for Torah MiTzion’s annual Shabbaton. The office in Jerusalem was represented by Zeev Schwartz – Executive Director of Torah MiTzion, Yoav Cohen-Hadad – Head of the Shlichut Department, and Hasida Pinchuk – Advisor and Director of Midreshet Tzion. This year, the Shabbaton was dedicated in memory of Rabbi Sidney Shoham z”l, one of the founding Rabbis of Torah MiTzion Montreal and Rabbi of Congregation Beth Tzion. The theme of the Shabbat was “Standing Strong with Israel.”
Rabbi Yitzach Neriah, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Torah B’Tzion and former Rosh Kollel in Montreal (1999-2001), was the guest of the honor at the conference. Rabbi Neriah gave shiruim to the Shlichim and the community at large, and praised Torah MiTzion for its important and influential work across North America.
Zeev Schwartz, the founder and Executive Director of Torah MiTzion, spoke about the importance of the conference and the influence Torah MiTzion has had on different communities over the past twenty years.
Over the course of the Shabbaton, the Shlichim heard from Rabbi Mark and Sarah Fishman from Congregation Beth Tikvah about how to be active Shlichim without over-extending their own family; from Rabbi Eddie Shostak they received tips and tools on how to be influential Shlichim and with Hasida Pinchuk they learned how to speak and listen effectively and productively.
There was also time devoted to bonding exercises and fun, with a group outing to bowling and ice skating.
The Shabbaton was an opportunity for the Shlichim to get to know the community in Montreal. They participated in parent-child learning, led a tisch for the community, and ran activities on erev Shabbat for kindergarteners.
The weekend ended with closing remarks by the Shlichim themselves, who noted the strength and drive they received over the course of the Shabbaton and how they felt a part of the family of Torah MiTzion, empowering them to resume Shlichut in their respective communities.