The warmth in South Florida went beyond sunny skies and mild temperatures as the community participated in Agudath Israel of Florida’s 15th annual Shabbos of Chizuk. Close to 1,000 people participated in the yearly event, which was sponsored by the Irwin Saks Charitable Foundation in memory of Reb Yitzchok Ben Avrohom z”l.

The opening session Thursday evening featured Rabbi Paysach Krohn, whose inspirational stories and heartfelt remarks captivated his audience as always. Rabbi Krohn spoke passionately about the need to become a source of Brocha for those around us, enjoining his listeners to view life’s difficulties as learning experiences that would allow them to help others.

Rabbi Labish Becker, executive director of Agudath Israel of America, addressed a special session for Bnos Leaders on Thursday night. Rabbi Becker spoke of the important function of Bnos leaders as role models to the each of the girls in their groups.

Friday morning the students at a number of mosdos throughout Miami had the opportunity to enjoy inspiring sessions with the guest speakers, who visited the various schools and interacted with their students and staff.

The Shabbos program consisted of simultaneous events in Miami Beach and North Miami Beach. Hundreds of people attended the Oneg Shabbos and other sessions in both neighborhoods where they were inspired by the words of Dayan Aharon Dovid Dunner, Dayan, Hisachdus Hakehillos, London; Rabbi Paysach Krohn, noted mohel, author and lecturer; Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president, Agudath Israel of America; and Rabbi Becker.

Rabbi Becker, who chaired the Motzoei Shabbos Melave Malka, acknowledged the tremendous growth of Agudath Israel of Florida in the last 15 years. Rabbi Moshe Matz, director of Agudath Israel of Florida, described the myriad activities and advocacy that the organization engages in, highlighting upcoming legislation that has the potential of positively affecting funding for Jewish Mosdos in an unprecedented fashion. He concluded his remarks with the message that just as the Jews merited redemption from Egypt by not relinquishing their names, their manner of dress, or their language; we must remain true to our identity in these trying times, to merit the ultimate redemption

Rabbi Zwiebel gave a very powerful presentation describing the enormous challenges posed by the cultural changes taking place today. He explained that our best defense lies in strengthening our role as representatives of Hashem’s Torah in this world.

The climax of the evening was the very inspiring address given by Dayan Dunner, shlita. Developing the theme of the session, Ain Lanu Leheshaen Ela Al Avinu Shabashamyim, Never Alone in the World, Dayan Dunner explained that even when everything seems bleak and impossible to resolve, if one puts all of his trust in Hashem he will see yeshuos.

Sunday morning the board of directors of Agudath Israel of Florida met to build upon the momentum of the Shabbos of Chizuk and plan future activities for the community.

As one enthusiastic participant remarked, “This was an outstanding Shabbos of Chizuk which will leave a lasting impact. We are already looking forward to next year’s event.”