(Courtesy of RCA) Nearly 600 people flocked to the Rabbinical College of America (RCA) to witness Rabbi Israel Lau, former chief rabbi of Israel, preside over the rabbinical ordination ceremony for 125 students. Family, friends and supporters hailed from 12 countries and 15 states to be present at this auspicious event. The Mayor of Morris Township Jeff Grayzel and other public officials graced the ceremony.
Graduates of the program received their ordination certificates and the majority of Sunday’s graduates will, within a relatively short time, join the ranks of Chabad emissaries, shluchim, occupying Jewish leadership positions in many forsaken communities throughout the globe.
Rabbi Moshe Herson, dean of the college reflected on this event being a hallmark of what the RCA stands for as a premier educational institution. “We educate our students to be of service to humanity, meeting unmet needs wherever and whenever they exist.” Graduates have been on the front lines of disaster relief in California, Texas, the Virgin Islands and wherever they are needed.
The RCA has been branded by Senator Joseph Lieberman as “The West Point of Judaism.”
Rabbi Lau, who flew in from Israel especially for this event, encouraged the young rabbis to be strong leaders in the respective communities and to never forsake their congregations and fellow Jews. As this event was held in close proximity to the Rebbe’s 25th yahrzeit, Rabbi Lau further emphasized the charge of the Rebbe to his students, to be a lamplighter to communities across the globe.
As in the past, graduates have gone on to become rabbis and leaders serving Jewish communities across the globe. From China and Thailand in the far east to Iceland, Africa, Russia and in the U.S. from Montana to Wyoming, thousands of RCA alumni are beacons of spiritual light.