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How the West Was Won

Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin has garnered kudos and critics while building Chabad's West Coast Empire.

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/religion/article/how_the_west_was_won_20020816

Last Aug. 26, on a soundstage off Sunset Boulevard, Chabad of the West Coast's 21st annual telethon was about to begin. The stage lights dimmed to blue, Camera One wheeled in, and a spotlight trained on a young boy wearing payes (sidecurls) and knickers -- Anatevka, circa 1905. The boy raised a fiddle to his chin and began a klezmer tune. A second young man, also in stylized Chasidic garb, emerged from the wings and began a slow-motion dance. The music got louder, the pace quickened, the dancer's pirouettes followed closer upon each other and then the stage exploded in a shower of lights and electric guitars as a dozen Lubavitch yeshiva students leapt forward, twisting, turning, doing handstands and cartwheels in a frenzied circle. Cymbals clashed and a booming voice rang out: "To Life! L'Chaim!"

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