Marking an important stage in a lifetime of intensive Torah study and ready to serve Jewish communities around the world, 147 young rabbis congregated with family and friends on Sunday, June 9, at the Chabad-affiliated Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, N.J.

The rabbis who celebrated receiving their ordination certificates this week include graduates from the college over the past four years. They are the latest of almost 700 rabbis who have graduated from the current semicha program since 2009. They were joined by guests from around the United States and the world who attended the event on the school’s verdant suburban campus. New Jersey state Senator Anthony Bucco addressed the graduates and honorees, who included Rabbi Chaim Schapiro, celebrating 25 years with the school.

The Morristown program is one of a number of Chabad-affiliated institutions worldwide that grant semicha to aspiring rabbis, including others in Israel; Pretoria, South Africa; Los Angeles; and, the Central Lubavitcher Yeshivah at Lubavitch World Headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y.

As such, Chabad remains the leading source of rabbis to Jewish communities around the world. The diverse group of rabbis at the ceremony hail from as far away as Australia, Brazil and Ukraine, and includes native speakers of English, Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French, German and Flemish.

Among the new rabbis at the ceremony was Rabbi Dovid Moya, who was sworn in as a chaplain for the U.S. Navy earlier this month in front of Lubavitch World Headquarters in Brooklyn.

The Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—urged young men to be certified as rabbis, explaining that they owed it to themselves and to the larger Jewish world. Many of the students will go on to join the thousands of Chabad rabbis and their wives who serve Jewish communities on six continents.

“The Rebbe remains with us even more than before Gimmel Tammuz,” said Rabbi Moshe Herson, dean and president of the institution, referring to the anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing, which will be observed around the world this year on June 22. “The success of our institutions illustrates the Rebbe’s involvement. We wish the newly ordained rabbis G‑d’s blessings and success in all their endeavors.”