Four thousand Jews, from over 100 Chabad House communities, experienced learning directly from the Rebbe in connection with Yud Shevat, thanks to Precious Souls, JEM’s newly launched program offering tools for Shluchim to share the Rebbe with their communities.
Presented at in-person and virtual events hosted by local Shluchim, the film highlighted parts of the farbrengens of Yud Shevat 5732 and 5743 as well as the very first, iconic farbrengen of the Rebbe on Yud Shevat 5711. Each segment was interspersed with commentary and discussion points presented by the Shliach — prepared in advance by JEM’s content experts. Another version of the program, created in cooperation with Merkos Suite 302, was fully pre-recorded, presented by Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet of the Mill Hill Synagogue in London, England.
“Yud Shevat is the day the Rebbe rolled out his plan for our generation,” says Rabbi Levik Gourarie, creator and director of Precious Souls: “The Rebbe’s plan and ‘mission statement’ — to make a Dirah Betachtonim, requires reaching every single Jew with Ahavas Yisroel. We wanted to bring people directly to the source, to the Rebbe, even if they hadn’t ever experienced an authentic Farbrengen, don’t understand Yiddish, or cannot yet follow the flow.”
In fact, some of the viewers weren’t familiar with the Rebbe at all. “It was a very smart and geshmakeh way to introduce the Rebbe,” says Rabbi Shuie Goldstein of Friendship Circle of S. Diego, California. Gourarie relates, “One Ohio-based participant, who isn’t a regular attendee at his Chabad House, excitedly told his shliach, ‘Rabbi, today I heard the Rebbe’s voice!’ That’s exactly the kind of result we were looking for: direct and personal connections.”
The program itself took over a year to compile and organize. “Typically, after we go from testing a program and then launch a full-scale implementation, we need to make numerous tweaks and improvements,” says Rabbi Elkanah Shmotkin, JEM’s executive director. “Based on our conversations with Shluchim and Shluchos, I think Rabbi Gourarie and his team have hit a home run on their first try.”
“It’s the result of tremendous focus on the end-result, and lots of hard work.: he continued, referring to Gourarie and his team. “We’ve been envisioning these tools for Shluchim for a very long time, but we needed the right director to come along. We’ve obviously found him.” Shmotkin says the team is already working on its next special feature catered to this demographic.
One viewer texted his shliach after the event, “My wife and I talked about the program on the way home and we said what we heard tonight re-energized us. It will help us in our lives and motivate us to either adjust or keep going on the path we are. In either case, we try to keep moving forwards and upwards. Thank you for such a wonderful event!”
Sign up for the Precious Souls program, which is not associated with any specific date, at JEMCentral.org/PreciousSouls.