This past Monday, the day before Gimmel Tammuz, over three hundred and twenty shluchim convened at the Hyatt Regency in Long Island for The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute’s 13th Annual Conference.
The Conference featured a diverse array of experts in a range of fields with the collective goal of providing JLI shluchim with cutting-edge ideas and strategies to successfully grow and develop their JLI chapters to reach more Jews in their communities.
In the morning, Shluchim divided into groups to participate in breakout sessions of their choice. Among the topics offered were direct marketing, by marketing expert Alan Rosenspan; field organizing, by political consultant and analyst Scott Dubin; social media, both beginner and advanced level sessions presented by Pinny Gniwisch, Executive VP of Marketing for Ice.com, and “Presentology” (the art of presenting) by world renowned lecturer Kivi Bernhard.
JLI Chairman Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky opened the main afternoon session, followed by a presentation by next year’s winter course authors, Dr. Shmuel Klatzkin and Rabbi Nochum Mangel, who took the podium to introduce their course, Money Matters: Jewish Business Ethics. Rabbi Shalom Raichik spoke about optimizing the use of PowerPoint and multimedia, and Scott Dubin applied practical lessons from the campaign trail to the challenge of building a loyal community following.
After warm greetings from Rabbi Tuvia Teldon, Director of Chabad of Long Island, Rabbi Avrohom Sternberg provided an overview of JLI’s upcoming fall course, Fascinating Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism, which he is co-authoring with Mrs. Rivka Slonim. Kivi Bernhard then gave an engaging talk titled “The Hunt for Excellence: Critical Lessons from the African Leopard.” Bernhard was followed by Alan Rosenspan’s motivating presentation about marketing techniques, using examples from the successful marketing strategies of seven JLI affiliates.
The conference concluded with special closing remarks from JLI Executive Committee member Rabbi Hesh Epstein and JLI Director Rabbi Efraim Mintz, and a surprise talk by Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor, the Director of Chabad of Thailand, who gave words of inspiration in preparation for Gimmel Tammuz.
“The remarkable growth of the Rohr JLI has revolutionized Torah study in Chabad houses across the globe,” said JLI Chairman Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky. “Seeing the enthusiasm and momentum of 320 shluchim at this year’s annual conference, and their resolution to further expand their reach in their communities, is most appropriate as we enter yom hakodosh Gimmel Tammuz.”