At the start of their careers, young Chabad rabbis and their wives typically set out for a wilderness to be tamed: a Jewish area lacking a Chabad presence. There they drive in their stakes and go to work. As they push back the frontier, other, younger couples arrive to continue the expansion. That’s what Chabad emissaries, or shlichim, do.
Then there’s Rabbi Sender Geisinsky. He grew up in Montgomery Country, where his parents, Rabbi Bentzion and Rebbetzin Zlata Geisinsky, had been dispatched as a young couple. In 2000, they left their work at the Chabad center in Potomac, to found Chabad of Bethesda-Chevy Chase.
On Rosh Hashanah, father turned over the keys to the synagogue to his son.
“Growing up, this was the only thing I could imagine doing,” says Sender Geisinsky, 29. “At 6, 7 years old, I already knew what I wanted to do.”
He now oversees the Bethesda-based center that offers worship services, a religious school, a camp and adult education. (A Kabbalah series is underway.) He says the nature of the community makes it especially ripe for expanding adult learning.
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