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.
For the first time in 45 years, Jerry Lewis will not be pleading for donations in front of a camera Labor Day weekend after he was abruptly dismissed as the host of the Muscular Dystrophy Assn.'s telethon...
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is asking community members to give time and elbow grease in addition to what’s in their pockets.
Concern about security at services and how to fund it persists among at least some of the small synagogues, which will now need to reallocate resources or decide to go without.
While taking violin lessons at The Juilliard School, Wise became interested in musical theater. He has since followed two paths in that field -- as a creative producer, responsible for some projects from conception to staging, and as an international presenter of successful Broadway shows.
Scene and Heard
This year's 26th annual Chabad "To Life" telethon on Sept. 10 hopes to offer some real laughs, with host entertainer Shelley Berman (whose credits stretch from "The Ed Sullivan Show" to "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Boston Legal") and co-host comedian Elon Gold ("Stacked," "The In-Laws").
The dancing rabbis returned Sept. 12 at the 24th annual Chabad L'Chaim -- To Life! Telethon. The program was beamed into homes in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and on the Dish Network.
When John Ostlund was 33, a judge offered him a choice: Quit heroin or lose your 3-year-old daughter.
Chabad's annual "L'Chaim -- To Life!" telethon will look a little different this Sept. 14 since two new producers are helming the 23-year-old fundraiser.
Chabad of California's 22nd annual "L'Chaim to Life Telethon," hosted by Dennis Prager, was humming along nicely with a long roster of talent that included classic actors James Caan and Elliott Gould, comic actor Dom DeLuise and Israeli singer David "Dudu" Fisher. Then 10:30 p.m. rolls around and the KCET soundstage -- where the telethon is broadcast -- went amok. Enter the Sand Man.
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!"
Backstage at Chabad Telethon '99, Jon Voight was like the Beatles song -- "Here, There and Everywhere."
One of the enduring mysteries of Los Angeles Jewish life is Jon Voight. Each year, Jews turn on their televisions to see the Oscar-winning actor, who isn't Jewish, dancing the hora with a Chassidic rabbi, appealing to viewers to give money to the rabbi's cause, and generally looking like a yeshiva bocher on Simchat Torah.
You're flipping the TV dial, and you come across something so incongruous that you're riveted: Bob Dylan and Jon Voight enthusiastically dancing the dervish-like kazatzka with Chassidic Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin.
It's a unique mixture of Hollywood marketing savvy and Chassidic religious fervor -- one of the last live variety shows on TV, according to its promoters. The goal is to surpass last year's telethon tote board total of $4,387,652.
For many, the High Holidays have already been officially ushered in -- not with the blowing of the Shofar, but with the sound of Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin's voice hosting the annual Chabad telethon.
The Chabad Telethon -- that unique mix of caring, sharing and good production values -- returns to the small screen this Sunday, Aug. 30, from 5 p.m. to midnight on UPN Channel 13.
If anyone had any doubts that the Chabad telethon has become a landmark on the pop culture scene, consider this: The entire cast of "Friends," one of NBC's top-rated sitcoms, has produced a segment of the show to air only on the telethon.
Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin will once again be joined by JonVoight (left) and Jan Murray (right), at Chabad's annual telethon. As sure as the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, the dancing rabbis are returning to TV stations nationwide for the annual Chabad telethon. Nothing in modern culture quite compares, or quite illustrates just how topsy-turvy modern culture can be: Here are Orthodox rabbis in traditional 17th-century Polish noble garb dancing with Hollywood stars in Armani suits, espousing lines of ancient Torah via the most advanced satellite technology, giving a centuries-old pitch for charity, and taking payment via credit card.What a wonderful world....
This year's telethon will take place on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 5p.m. to midnight, on UPN Channel 13. Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, theWest Coast director of Chabad and founder of the telethon 17 yearsago, will lead the marathon endeavor, and comedian Freddie Roman willhost. Among the stars slated to show up -- and eventually dance withthe rabbis -- are James Caan, Mayim Bialik, Tony Curtis, Sid Caesar,Fyvush Finkel, Estelle Getty, Jan Murray, Tony Danza, Judd Nelson,Jon Voight, Regis Philbin, Edward James Olmos, Shelley Winters, theLimelighters, the Tokens and Ed Ames. Producer Jerry Weintraub ischairman of the event.