SUNRISE, Fla. — Zack Cortez's bar mitzvah was approaching, and his mom, Leslie, wanted to be sure her son would be ready for the day.

Leslie Cortez approached Rabbi Aron Lieberman, the Chabad Lubavitch emissary to Inverrary, for help. She had made the rabbi's acquaintance in Inverrary before moving with her husband and three sons to the fast-growing Sunrise-Sawgrass Mills area about 20 minutes away.

Rabbi Lieberman had good news for the Cortez family: His daughter, Chani, and son-in-law, Rabbi Yossi Leibovitch, had just moved to Sunrise, to begin their lives as "shluchim," or Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in that area. The Leibovitches, it turned out, were Leslie Cortez' new neighbors. If Zack went to Rabbi Leibovitch to begin his bar mitzvah lessons, he wouldn't have to add a long commute to his busy teenage schedule.

Within days Zack was learning the Torah reading he would do for his bar mitzvah with Rabbi Leibovitch, becoming the first of the rabbi's students in his new position as Lubavitch emissary.