adapted from the Shluchim Exchange in response to this article
First, allow me to express my deepest respect to shluchim the world
over who are on this forum. Your selfless dedication on a daily
basis is an inspiration to millions of our fellow Jews and surely a
source of deep nachas to our dear Rebbe. We have had the privilege
of seeing the revolution you bring to the world, and are grateful
for the opportunities we have had to participate in many of your
I would like to address an issue which recently has not only come
to the fore but has reached some inappropriate levels of discourse.
I am told there has been a great deal of discussion among shluchim
on Achdus/Farbreng about COLlive and its impact on Lubavitch,
values, etc. As the owner of COLlive, I feel it is my place and
responsibility, with all due deference, to address this issue, even
though I am not a Shliach or member of this forum.
We do not make news, we report it. Simple as that.
Now, we obviously have control over which news to report, and the
fact is we have reported aspects of life in Crown Heights and in
Lubavitch, and even about some Shluchim, which many of you may have
While it is insane to think that someone in my position should lend
themselves to fear, intimidation, etc., at the same time I feel
that besides the insults and humiliating comments that have come to
my attention, there is a real concern and even some pain being
caused here and that is what I want to address.
Let me begin by saying I take full responsibility for the site,
period. Anything that appears there is with my consent. So while I
am proud to take the ultimate credit for providing a great deal of
quality content and communal connection to thousands of
Lubavitchers, I also take responsibility for whatever is
controversial or difficult for viewers, including any recent posts,
comments or items. It’s a package deal.
You, the shluchim, are our brothers and sisters. None of us in our
right mind would ever want to hurt you. I must say, however, that I
am disappointed in how easily some shluchim on the forum took shots
at people in their comments, some of which were simply inaccurate
or even untrue! I understand the need to express opinions, but why
in a way that is so vindictive, mean and hurtful?
While these comments have puzzled me and disappointed me deeply,
and run contrary to the character of shlichus we have all been
educated about, I really feel we need to move on. I also appreciate
that there have been those who have found a way – as the Rebbe
would – to convey their feelings in a more dignified way, focusing
on the issues as opposed to simply spewing venom. And I have
Therefore, I will respectfully ask if a few shluchim could create
an informal committee that will address concerns shluchim have with
the site directly with us, so we can make corrections regarding
appropriateness, etc. with concern to posts, comments, and the
like. While I do not intend to cede editorial control, and don’t
even think you would expect that, I believe that if we collaborate,
the site will become even more successful and continue even
stronger in its role as the primary news source for people across
the community of Crown Heights, Lubavitch throughout the world –
and beyond, in a manner of increased comfort for all concerned.
Please understand that we still intend to appeal to all of our
faithful readers, even those who one might wish were more like one
thinks they should be, whether or not they are, but in a more
palatable way. I cannot promise perfection, but you have my word on
I only ask that any suggestions be conveyed respectfully, and
maintain dignity for all involved. This will provide the basis for
a proper airing of concerns without hurt.
We are proud of our success, and especially of the opportunity to
bring the great work of the shluchim and our entire community to
the world’s attention. Sometimes there are things happening which
might not be so joyous or positive, but we will increase our
efforts to provide even those parts of the news in a way which
promotes a discourse befitting our family.
And we hope you will reciprocate by continuing to provide not only
great news about your wonderful and impressive activities, but
columns and op-eds that you think our families should be reading,
so we might offer them to our readers as well.
With deepest appreciation for your support.
Mrs. Mica Soffer
Owner and Publisher