Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis from across New Jersey recently gathered in the state capital of Trenton to meet with state legislators and discuss their communities’ needs.

New Jersey Senate President Steven Sweeney hosted and chaired a kosher luncheon to allow the group to meet in a social setting and discuss mutual goals.

“These events are so important,” said Sen. Sweeney, addressing the Chabad rabbis, “as we the legislators are constantly making decisions that affect you and your communities. It is vital that we get your input when addressing these important issues.

A large map of the 48 Chabad-Lubavitch centers in the state was displayed, which then prompted many legislators to interact with the rabbis that serve in their districts.

“Having a strong relationship with our government allows us to fulfill our duty to our communities by acting as a bridge between the people and our leaders,” said Rabbi Avi Richler, co-director of Chabad of Gloucester County, who coordinated the event along with Sen. Sweeney’s staff.

Rabbi Moshe Herson, director of the Chabad-Lubavitch in New Jersey and dean of the Rabbinical College of America, noted in his invocation the tremendous growth of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in New Jersey, and how it has now come to represent more than half a million Jews.