A group of 6,500 rabbis and Jewish leaders are visiting New York and New Jersey from more than 100 countries for the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, an annual event aimed at strengthening Jewish awareness and practice around the world.

The group posed for a picture in front of Chabad World Headquarters on Sunday, before heading to a gala dinner in New Jersey.

This year’s conference comes at a time of a global Jewish spiritual awakening since Oct. 7, according to a survey of rabbis. The 1,400 Chabad emissaries serving in Israel will join the conference remotely this year, so that they can stay with their communities during this difficult time.

“In the face of current adversities, many Jews have discovered a newfound feeling of connection to their faith and identity," says Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. “The shluchim [emissaries] have been tirelessly at the forefront, fortifying the spirit and resilience of their communities. This year’s Kinus comes at a critical moment in the history of our people, and we hope it serves as a source of energy, connection and vision for the future.”