Torah Mitzion in North America held its annual Shabbaton (Shabbat retreat) last weekend, hosted by the Jewish community of Memphis, Tennessee. Around 40 shlichim (emissaries) of the organization were present at the unique event.
The organization Torah Mitzion has gained recognition for its program of sending shlichim, groups of post-army yeshiva students, young singles and newly married couples, around the world to strengthen Jewish learning and identity.
Shlichim on the program establish or strengthen existing Torah Mitzion kollel learning centers, and organize classes and activities to promote religious Zionism. Additional classes, seminaries and other religious-Zionist activities are organized for women by the emissaries.
Special activities were held at the Shabbat event to affirm the connection between the shlichim, including a workshop by Rabbi Shai Finkelstein on how to overcome the cultural gaps for Israeli presenters speaking before an American audience.
Additionally, Barbara Radinsky spoke to families about the challenges to family life while abroad as emissaries, while Mark Lannon of NCSY spoke about approaches to talking with youth. Torah Mitzion Director Ze'ev Schwartz then held a panel to discuss the expectations and challenges of shlichim.
As part of the Shabbat event, local families from the community opened up their homes to the shlichim, and joyous meals and prayers were shared by all.
Additional talks were held on Sunday at the Anshei Sfard synagogue.
Last July, Torah Mitzion held a large event at the sending off a new batch of 40 shlichim. Held in Jerusalem's City of David, the event saw off shlichim to communities worldwide, including destinations such as South Africa, Australia, Europe and North and South America.