Prime Minister Mike Eman of Aruba, a longtime friend of Chabad, included a stop to Lubavitch World Headquarters—at 770 Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn—during a visit last week to New York.

Eman, who is Jewish, visited the study of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—accompanied by Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement; Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor, head Chabad emissary to Thailand; Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of strategic development at Chabad Headquarters; and Rabbi Peretz Blasberg, father of Chabad emissary to Aruba Rabbi Ahron Blasberg. He also toured the nearby Jewish Children’s Museum, the largest of its kind in the United States.

A reception was held in Eman’s honor in the sukkah of Rabbi Moshe and Rivka Kotlarsky. There, he received greetings from Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of Merkos, which has been sending young rabbinical students to visit Aruba’s Jews for more than 20 years.

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Among the students was Rabbi Dovid Kotlarsky, now co-director of Chabad of East Lakeview, Ill., who introduced Eman to Chabad. Dovid Kotlarsky’s relationship with the prime minister and efforts scouting out Aruba’s Jews led to the establishment of a permanent Chabad House on the island nearly two years ago, when Rabbi Ahron and Chaya Blasberg moved there.

Eman has been a longtime friend of Chabad.
Eman has been a longtime friend of Chabad.

During his visit, Eman expressed his admiration for the inroads the Blasbergs have made in solidifying the presence of Judaism on the island.

Located off the coast of Venezuela, Aruba has a population of about 100,000, and is known for its dry climate and strong trade winds. It has a small permanent Jewish presence, but each year welcomes thousands of Jewish tourists, largely from the United States and Venezuela. Many of them have participated in Shabbat and holiday dinners and programs held by the young Chabad couple, who anticipate further growth within the Jewish community there.

Eman visits the Jewish Children's Museum in Crown Heights.
Eman visits the Jewish Children's Museum in Crown Heights.
Getting a tour of the museum with Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, specifically the renovated fourth-floor exhibit.
Getting a tour of the museum with Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, specifically the renovated fourth-floor exhibit.
Greeting a young visitor to the museum.
Greeting a young visitor to the museum.
A reception was held in Eman’s honor in the sukkah of Rabbi Moshe and Rivka Kotlarsky. Here, he talks with Rabbi Kotlarsky, left, and Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, which has been sending young rabbinical students to visit Aruba’s Jews for more than 20 years.
A reception was held in Eman’s honor in the sukkah of Rabbi Moshe and Rivka Kotlarsky. Here, he talks with Rabbi Kotlarsky, left, and Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, which has been sending young rabbinical students to visit Aruba’s Jews for more than 20 years.