On a rainy Monday morning on the heels of the Passover holiday, 3 dozen Chabad Rabbis from throughout the state of Illinois gathered at the Thompson Center to meet with Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker.
This special conclave had been arranged well in advance and with certainly no inkling that it would be under the pall of the Chabad of Poway shooting.
The Rabbis filed into what they had planned to be a jovial, “get to know you” kind of greeting for the newly elected Governor. Yet the heartbreak of the attack certainly hung in the air.
In conjunction with the Rebbe’s message to always battle hatred with light – the gathering began with the Governor lighting a yizkor lamp and in an effort to increase in acts of goodness and kindness charity was given so that others will benefit in response to terror.
The Governor assured the Rabbis that the good work of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois is cherished in our state and the state will respond with enhanced security measures and funding for all vulnerable institutions.
The Rabbis shared their own community’s stories and personal anecdotes of their activities to combat violence and hate. The conversation moved to the good work of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois in its work to rehabilitate prisoners thus saving lives and saving state funds by reducing the prison population. The Rabbis shared with the Governor the tremendous positive impact of the tax credit scholarship program.
The event concluded with good cheer and handshakes all around as the Rabbis and the Governor affirmed their common commitment to the physical and spiritual well being of the citizens of their state.