Every year seems to be an increasingly busy one for the nearly 5,000 Chabad-Lubavitch emissary families who serve Jewish communities around the world—from remote towns and college campuses to major metropolitan areas. Their work is to ignite the spark of G‑dliness within every Jew, bringing people of every age and background closer to their Jewish heritage, traditions, study and practice.

This week, thousands of rabbis will travel from every part of the globe to attend the annual International Conference for Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchim) in New York, which takes place from Nov. 15-20. They will learn, pray and meet with one another to discuss progress and challenges, and to converse about Jewish holidays, events, programs, classes and study opportunities they are developing for their respective communities.

They will also take a look back at the accomplishments and challenges of the past year. Here is just a smattering of their work reported by Chabad.org since last November.


In balmy places and frigid ones, emissaries start Chabad Houses to serve local Jewish communities and visiting travelers. This year began with an ending of sorts. The last state in America gained a permanent Chabad presence: South Dakota. Other more remote areas to get a permanent presence included Newfoundland, Ibiza, Rhodes, Puerto Vallarta, New Caledonia (representing the 91st country with a permanent presence) and Laos, No. 92.

Chabad Opens Center in 50th State: South Dakota

Newfoundland, the Next Frontier to Draw Chabad to Its Shores

Chabad Settles on the Shores of Ibiza, Spain

On Greek Isle of Rhodes, a Long Road (and Short Flight) to Kosher Food

Welcome to Puerto Vallarta, Where Jewish Life’s Warming Up

New Caledonia: A South Pacific Isle Where Judaism Blossoms

Laos the Latest Far-Flung Country Chabad Calls Home


From decades of wrapping tefillin at the Western Wall to mitzvah mobiles roaming city streets, starting in the summer of 1967.

50 Years After Six-Day War, How the Kotel Became Synonymous With Tefillin

Newly Released Photos Show Tefillin 50 Years Ago at the Western Wall

Mobilizing the Mitzvah Tanks: The Untold Story of the ‘Are You Jewish?’ Guys


No one could have predicted such power to destroy. First came Harvey, which submerged huge swaths of the Houston metropolitan area. Then came Irma, which pummeled the Caribbean islands and parts of Florida, causing one of the largest evacuations on record in the area. And before those communities could catch their collective breath, Maria plowed through the Caribbean once again, leaving destruction in St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and devastation in Puerto Rico.

Texas Jewish Communities Grapple With Catastrophic Flooding

Chabad in Houston Takes Action as Rain and Flooding Continue

With Stores Flooded, Kosher Food Has Run Out in Houston

How Chabad Is Using Amazon for Relief in Houston

Two Chassidic Jews in an Old Army Truck Save Flood Victims

They Were Supposed to Have Their Wedding in Houston on Sunday

Photo Essay: Chabad Rabbi Brings Relief to Harvey Victims

Chabad Emissaries on St. Martin: ‘The Mikvah Saved Us’

Virgin Islands Rabbi: ‘Here Not Only When the Sun Is Shining’

Chabad Relief Planes Deliver Urgent Supplies to Puerto Rico


People long for connection, both to others and to their heritage. Everyone needs family. Everyone needs community. Everyone needs a hand to hold sometimes, and that’s where Chabad emissaries come in. They are there for prayer, for the link to the internal sparks all Jews have within. Sometimes, those sparks come in times of great hardship or challenge. Other times, they come late in life, but they come nonetheless, often at the bedside of the ill or dying.

Chance Alaska Visit Becomes a Dying Man’s Bar Mitzvah

92-Year-Old Nazi Fighter and Her Newfound Jewish Identity

The Jewish Neo-Nazi and the Chabad Rabbi

Knesset Speaker ‘Repays Debt’ to Soviet-Era Chassidic Outlaws

A Rabbi Brings Unexpected Joy to a Woman’s Last Shabbat

A 104-Year-Old Harvard Grad’s Unexpected Final Mitzvah

A Stranger Offered Tefillin, and Changed the Course of a Family’s Life

Child With Autism Has a Meltdown on a Plane: Chabad Emissary Steps In to Help

A Cry Up to Heaven Is Answered in Rural Denmark

The Trendy Boutique That Employs People With Special Needs

I Just Became a Bar Mitzvah at Age 70 on Top of the Rockies

Mazel Tov! The First Jewish Wedding in the Kingdom of Cambodia


Human loss, when it comes too early or when it comes as the result of terror, leaves pain and questions in its wake. Entire communities mourned those whose time came too soon, in Israel, Australia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Terror Victim Shir Hajaj, Beloved Volunteer for Colel Chabad

10-Year-Old Girl Killed When Car Plows Into Crowd Unites Melbourne in Grief

Rabbi Mendel Deitsch, 64, Dies of Wounds After Attack in Ukraine

Acts of Gratitude and Comfort in Manchester

Following Deadly Violence in Vegas, a Rabbi Provides Comfort


People came together in the most interesting ways this year . . .

Chabad Hosts Thousands of Eclipse-Chasers Across America

With Fewer Young Jews in Synagogue on Rosh Hashanah, Rabbis Take to Public Parks

Uber Driver in Brazil Opens the Door for Rabbi After Rabbi

How a Wounded Israeli Soldier Met and Married a New York School Teacher

When a Private Sukkah Costs $4 Million, Where Do We Eat?

A Little Miracle Happened in Tucson


Planned rallies and neo-Nazi activity on high school and college campuses were met with strong and positive reactions, emphasizing a need for light to shine a path through the darkness.

Montana Rabbi to Neo-Nazis: Torah Topples Hate

Students at Wisconsin College Respond to Anti-Semitism

500 at Virginia Tech Rally: ‘We Love Our Jewish Neighbors’

Florida High-Schoolers to Swastika Scrawlers: Thank You!

In Response to White Supremacist Vitriol, Spokane Crowd Shows Up in Full Force

Charlottesville Campus Chabad Offers Support to Students

White Supremacists Encounter ‘Good Deed Marathon’ at University of Florida