Tuesday, November 29, 2011

International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Shluchim and the Lay Leadership Conference

What an experience! I spent the weekend in Brooklyn (Crown Heights), NY with 4,000 Chabad Rabbis. With that size crowd it reminded me of my playing days. Chabad Rabbis are offensive lineman in disguise. The greatest pushers in the world, better the NFL Lineman. That’s what NFL Lineman do, push another man against his will-back, to the side and not get pushed back themselves. Really! I have never been with such a positive group of people all striving to help people, push people to be their greatest and help them uncover there Jewish identities in a non-judgmental meaningful way. I had one of the greatest pleasures as a speaker, I was asked to share my own journey in front of such a esteemed group, the Rabbis and Lay Leaders of Chabad who are the financial supporters assisting Rabbis in communities all over the world. What a group, with various back grounds who have been inspired by these Rabbis to grow, change and make a positive difference in this world. To see some of what I experienced go to www.chabad.org/kinus. Watch the video of the Key Note speech from Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks How the Lubavitcher Rebbe Changed My Life. Monumental! I could totally relate, however I never met the Rebbe but his teachings changed my life. What a coach!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shabbaton at Chabad at KU (University of Kansas) Lawrence, KS

I just returned from an awesome weekend speaking and hanging out with the students all weekend at the University of Kansas - Chabad. I also spoke to the community Shabbos day. I am grateful for the warmth I received from all I met and from Rabbi Zalman and Nechama Tiechtel. I also received the greatest testimonial from Rabbi Tiechtel:

This past Shabbos we had Alan Veingrad join our Chabad House. In the past 6 years we had brought in quite a few speakers, but this guy was absolutely unbelievable! From the moment he came he was totally devoted to do whatever it takes to make this Shabbaton a success, speaking and farbrenging with our students and community again and again. He is ready and open to be there for whatever is needed, and very tuned in to the needs and sensitivities of the local place. He is also a great articulate speaker!

He is an inspiration to everyone he meets, as a very balanced person with both feet on the ground with an amazing story of athletic success on one hand (the students loved his super bowl ring...), with a very spiritual and religious connection as well. His message is clear out Yiddishkeit, motivating more growth and Kiyum of Torah and Mitzvos.

Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel
The Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Life
Serving the University of Kansas
and the surrounding Communities