New York — A new video, released in time for this year's international conference of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries, depicts an unprecedented construction drive in Jewish communities around the globe in the past few years. From Anchorage to Bangkok, the Jewish landscape appears to be changing, as schools, synagogues, and community centers are built at a fevered pace, to accommodate Jews in numbers unmatched in recent history.

In a year publicly marred by attacks on Jews at a community center in Los Angeles, or walking from their neighborhood synagogue in Chicago, or synagogue bombings in Moscow, this flurry of building activity is borne by the efforts of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and its emissaries, inspired by the everlasting message of the movement's leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory.

Ninety-eight new projects are depicted in "Cornerstones," which takes viewers on a fast-paced tour around the world to visit Jewish community buildings still under construction, as well as others already packed with students or worshipers. The projects shown represent only a fraction of the 380 Chabad-Lubavitch building projects undertaken recently.

Scenes of hardhat construction workers consulting with black hatted rabbis play to a joyful musical score. Interspersed is stirring footage of the Lubavitcher Rebbe issuing the call that inspired the creation of these new institutions - a call to reach out to every single Jew by establishing new institutions in every corner of the world.

Filmed at the celebration of his 70th birthday in 1972, the Rebbe is seen using the occasion to do something he rarely did - speak personally on a subject close to his own heart. Noting that he had been asked repeatedly what his plans were upon reaching the age of 70, the Rebbe said it was time "to accomplish even more." Calling for the creation of 71 new institutions that year alone, the Rebbe assigned the formidable task to his "Shluchim," or emissaries, around the globe.

"There are those who cannot accomplish everything with their own hands and feet, so they must rely on others who hear their request," the Rebbe said on that occasion, assuring his listeners that he would be a partner in each endeavor. Hence began this construction boom, and it has continued at a stepped-up pace ever since.

The variety of buildings and institutions shown in the video reflect the diversity of Chabad-Lubavitch's efforts worldwide. From state-of-the-art schools for girls in Brooklyn and Paris, to a community center with a kosher bakery in Bangkok; from soup kitchens in Ashdod, Israel, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, to a $25 million complex in San Diego, California, the institutions are designed to serve the specific needs of each community.

Some, in Lithuania and the Ukraine, are bringing Jewish life back to lands where it has all but been obliterated. Others, in Miami Beach or Los Angeles, are vast, elegant structures that often cater to an affluent Jewish population, offering classes, social events, and synagogue services.

Still others represent the place where Jews gather for camaraderie and spiritual renewal, as does the modest home of the Chabad rabbi in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mikvahs, or ritual baths, and libraries are part of the package in some locations; others include day care and recreation centers.

"Since the 3rd of Tammuz, 5754, (the date of the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe) Chabad of the West Coast has erected 36 new institutions," says Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, Chabad emissary to California, interviewed on the video. "This is the way we go about fulfilling the Rebbe's dream."

The video, produced by Jewish Educational Media and first shown at last year's emissaries' conference, is available from the Kehot Bookstore. (718) 778-0226. You may also e-mail [email protected] For review copies please e-mail the same address or call (718) 774-4000 ext. 212.