Mi K’amcha Yisroel – Who is like thee — the nation of Israel who reveals light in the darkness and joy in the face of adversity? **How grateful and fortunate are we to be part of our incredible and amazing global Jewish family!!

As the world is celebrating Thanksgiving, I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all those who are part of the Jewish Girls Unite family. It would not be the same without each and every one of you: our partners, staff, volunteers and members.

In our Gratitude Tools – Mirror Reflections Class this week, we shared simple tips and tools to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, such as, asking ourselves several times each day, **”What am I grateful for right now?”**

Today, I am extremely grateful to our Creator for three special Jewish weddings. They are the wedding anniversary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Chaya Mushkah Schneersohn (on the 14th of Kislev), the wedding celebration of Sarah Litman and Ariel Bigel in Jerusalem and the upcoming wedding of a dear alumna and staff member, Chavie Resnick, this Sunday I”YH.

Why do these three occasions evoke emotions of tremendous gratitude?

1. On the 14th day of Kislev, we commemorated the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s wedding anniversary, because the Rebbe’s marriage (in 1928) to the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe’s daughter, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, was the reason that he became Rebbe. The Lubavitcher Rebbe said, “that this day is the beginning of the connection between the Rebbe and all of us”. Rebbetzin Chaya Mushkah also encouraged her husband to carry on her father’s work and become his successor.

Growing up in Brooklyn, (NY) I spent countless hours listening to the Lubavitcher Rebbe speak and received numerous blessings that I pass on to you.

I am filled with enormous gratitude to the Rebbe for inspiring and teaching us at Jewish Girls Unite, to love every Jew unconditionally regardless of background; to spread the light of Judaism to every corner of the globe and to educate and empower our Jewish daughters, the foundation of our nation.

**How grateful I am to Rebbetzin Chaya Mushkah for the extraordinary sacrifices she willingly made to facilitate the Rebbe’s devotion to the Jewish people!!**

2. I was so moved by the wedding that all of Israel were invited to! The bride’s father and brother, Yaakov and Netanel Litman, ob”m were killed in a brutal terrorist attack, on the eve of the wedding, which was cancelled for the funerals. The couple rescheduled their wedding and invited the whole world to celebrate with them in Jerusalem. “Don’t let our enemies rejoice. We have fallen and we have risen,” wrote the couple. “With G-d’s help, our wedding will take place Thursday, 26 November, 14 Kislev, at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem. The Jewish nation is invited to rise from the dust and celebrate with us.” This is our answer to hatred, bigotry and terror.

I am grateful that we could attend the wedding virtually. I watched the wedding ceremony and shed tears. It was moving and empowering!

A friend from Jerusalem, Hindel Swerdlov, who was part of the overflowing crowd of guests, expressed her feelings on facebook. “Just got back from a truly inspirational moment in time. Haven’t felt this high in a while. But this high is the feeling I got when I used to be a young girl in the presence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Thousands of Jews dancing and singing, just being together with their leader. Tonight, the Jewish people are led by this young couple who chose to involve every Jew in their happiness and shun the violence and terror.”

Mazal Tov to Sara (Litman) and Ariel Biegel! Your faith and strength gives us faith and strength to transform darkness into light. We cry with you and we dance with you as we sing “Am Yisroel Chai”!

“Mi K’amcha Yisroel – Who is like thee — the nation of Israel who reveals light in the darkness and joy in the face of adversity? **How grateful and fortunate are we to be part of our incredible and amazing global Jewish family!!**

3. We wish a warm Mazal Tov to alumna and staff member, Chavie Resnick on her upcoming wedding this Sunday to Naftoli Sobel. A special Mazal Tov to Rabbi Yosef and Yael Resnick, JGU partners. Chavie started off as a camper at the Jewish Girls Retreat, when she was 12 years old and attended every Summer and Winter Retreat, over the last ten years. She transitioned from being a camper to the producer of three camp movie productions and to our amazing assistant director last summer. At the camp banquet, I blessed her to join us at the 20th Retreat with her husband. G-d fulfilled my blessing and I”YH Chavie will be joining us at her 20th Retreat in December with Naftoli.

We are excited to award Chavie with the first Alumna Leadership Award at the winter retreat for her outstanding leadership and creativity. Chavie is a model alumna who uses the tools she gained at JGR to inspire and lead others.

->I am filled with tremendous gratitude for our supportive and loving global Jewish Girls Unite family and look forward to sharing Chavie’s wedding celebration with many campers, staff and alumnae!!<-

May we celebrate Chavie and Naftoli’s wedding celebration in Jerusalem with Moshiach and be reunited with all of our loved ones, including the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rebbetzin and Yaakov and Netanel Litman ob”m.

May G-d transform all darkness into light forevermore!

With Prayers for Peace & Shabbat Shalom!

Nechama Dina Laber