As he danced with a group of Chabadniks, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) swung his body around in circles so jubilantly that his kippah fell off. When one of the others placed it back on Sherman’s head, the congressman grinned.
Hollywood stars and dancing rabbis came together for the 32nd annual Chabad “To Life” Telethon on Sept. 9. Held for the first time at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, the high-profile fundraiser raised approximately $4 million for Chabad of California.
One of the most moving letters you’ll read this year was written by Irwin Cotler, a Canadian member of parliament, to the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, imploring him to hold a minute of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists 40 years ago at the Munich Olympics.
The 31st Chabad “To Life” Telethon, Chabad of California’s highest-profile annual fundraising event, is scheduled to air on KTLA at 8 p.m. on Sunday, this time with former talk-show host Larry King as its celebrity host.
As Hurricane Katrina barreled through the Gulf Coast, Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin got a frantic call from a woman in Long Beach who had lost touch with her brother, a Chabad rabbi in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans.
It was less than a month before the annual Chabad Telethon -- that quirky TV fundraiser studded with dancing rabbis and Jewish celebrities -- and Cunin, the director of West Coast Chabad, was busy scrambling to put together the program for the 25th anniversary show. For the last quarter-century, the telethon has raised millions of dollars each year to support the 200 Chabad centers, its schools and programs on the West Coast.
But when Rishi Greenwald called Cunin that Monday, he decided he had no choice but to drop everything and try to locate Rabbi Yossi Nemes, one of the five Chabad emissaries in Louisiana.
Around the end of August, every year for the past 20 years, the Chabad Telethon comes around. It gets so you can't drive anywhere without seeing the purple banners featuring the silhouette of a man wearing tzitzit and dancing joyously to some unheard song.