Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302 of Chabad, spoke to Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, from Times Square, in New York City, on the conference held in light of the October 7th attack and the major Jewish event in Times Square.

Rabbi Kotlarsky, “Once again an incredible weekend of Jewish Pride. Over 3,000 teens from all over the world coming together and being there for each other is really, really special.

As this weekend is taking place in the wake of the October 7th attack on Israel, Rabbi Kotlarsky says that, “This weekend was obviously very more special than usual, because in the light of October 7th and each of these teens being the only teens in their schools or their classes, you can see that they need the support. They need to be there for each other and they need to be able to know that they have the Jewish community behind them. What happened in Israel and the antisemitism around the world takes things to a whole new level. I've heard from so many teens how being around here in Times Square, being able to celebrate and dance Am Yisrael Chai has really given them the energy and the power to be able to go back home and share the message.”

Rabbi Kotlarsky continued that, “the theme of this year's conference is Count on Me. Every single teen is responsible. He can tip the scale. He can stand up for what's true, for what's good for Judaism, for Israel. Every Mitzvah counts. Every teen counts, wherever they are. So Le’chaim to each and every one of your watchers and listeners. We have to know One Mitzvah dot Org, make sure we get our friends involved and we know that next year in Jerusalem. We'll be there together speedily in our days with Mashiach Tzidkenu – our righteous Mashiach.”

Rabbi Kotlarsky believes that it is very special that a group from Israel joined the conference this year, “Obviously it's really meaningful to have a group from Israel. Close to 300 teens, with survivors from the [Nova] festival, soldiers representing on the stage, sharing a message, holding the unique havdala candles that we created, Am Yisrael Chai, with the country, with Eretz Yisrael. It is really, really special and you hear the energy behind me. Nothing like it and together we should be able to tip the scale and bring Mashiach.”