Rabbi Mendel Druk, emissary of Chabad-Lubavitch of Cancun, describes Cancun, Mexico as an “exceptional place.”
“It's a place that is what we call the ‘kibutz galuyot’ [ingathering of the exiles], you gather the masses of Jews from every place around the world and it's something exceptional to be able to be seated around the table,” he tells Israel National News. “We have a Jew from Singapore and a Jew from England and a Jew from France and a Jew from Israel sitting at the same table, and even though our customs might be different, our languages are different, but yet there's a unifying identity and that really brings us together.”
The location is unique, especially with its hot and humid climate.
Rabbi Drake explains: “It definitely brings out the best of people. This is the place where the guard is down, people are on vacation, nobody’s wearing their ties and suits, and therefore people are more receptive to expressing their Jewishness and expressing their desire to be together with Jewish people.”
They meet many different people at Chabad-Lubavitch of Cancun.
“Predominantly, we're getting people that are here on vacation, people here on the honeymoons, and you have also a lot of young Israeli backpackers that are trekking through Latin America.”
The center is part of the fulfillment of the vision of the Rebbe.
“The Rebbe wanted that and continues to impact the Jewish people that they should be able to express their connection through mitzvahs and the truth is this is a phenomenal place to do it,” he says. “People have less distractions, they are here to relax, and it gives them an opportunity to open up to their souls.”
He praises Mexico for being friendly to the Jewish community.
“Mexico has been quite benevolent to the Jewish community and the Jewish people and the communities are strong, in particular in Mexico City, and we're grateful to be able to have a very respectful relationship.”
He is currently preparing for Passover, which is full of logistics and importing products from around the world.
“Of course, there’s a lot that's already available in Mexico City. We're planning for a seder for 300 or 400 people, and in addition to the seders that we are running here and other communities where Chabad centers are running, there’s also hotel programs that bring together thousands of Jews from all around the world. So it's really a special experience to bring together all these grateful Jewish people.”