Chabad Representatives of Tuscon in White House


by Baila Olidort - WASHINGTON, D.C.

January 18, 2004

Chabad-Lubavitch representative of Tuscon, Arizona, Rabbi Yossi Shemtov, who is also the pulpit rabbi of the Chabad at Young Israel synagogue in Tuscon, and his wife Chanie, received the much coveted invitation to the White House Chanukah party last month.

Prior to the reception, Rabbi Shemtov joined other Jewish leaders at a briefing with the President. The President, said Rabbi Shemtov, made his absolute commitment to Israel’s security abundantly clear. He also spoke about faith-based initiatives and said that while billions of dollars can be allocated to faith-based initiatives, it ultimately comes down to the efforts on the local level—the personal touch between one human being and another, that makes the difference.

“As a Chabad Shliach,” observed Rabbi Shemtov, “these words had particular resonance. It was the Rebbe who taught us that no matter how grand our vision is--and he encouraged bold visions for Jewish leadership--he insisted that they must all connect to, or begin with, the individual and our steadfast commitment to the individual."

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