A Jewish flame is burning in snowy northern Europe. Rabbi Berel Pewzner, a Chabad emissary, has set up shop in Iceland, with 100 Jews in a general population of 300,000.
Pewzner is likely to be among the 5,200 shluchim (emissaries) from more than 80 nations who will gather tonight at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal for the Chabad annual banquet, called the Kinus Hashluchim.
The keynote speakers will be former U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, and Rabbi Dov Greenberg, co-director of the Rohr Chabad House–Jewish Student Center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., who has been selected to represent his fellow shluchim.
Why Iceland? After traveling the world building Jewish communities, Rabbi Pewzner needed a new challenge. He says that "a couple of years ago I got bored of the mainstream and was looking for something new and exciting. I said 'Hey, what's up with Iceland?' I flew over there for Passover with five suitcases of matzo, meat, and kosher grape juice, put an ad in the newspaper, got the word out through Facebook, and 50 people showed up."
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