November 21, 2002
Chanukah-Style Reality TV
If you were beginning to feel that too much time had passed since you last saw dancing bearded rabbis on television, then fear not, because West Coast Chabad, the organization that sponsors the "L'Chaim" telethon, is broadcasting a special Chanukah party on KCAL-TV Channel 9 each night of Chanukah.
"Chanukah, the Miniseries," two-minute segments directed by Stephen Kessler, is aimed at inspiring viewers to participate in Chanukah by watching the menorah being lit.
The program has two parts. In the first part, Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, director of West Coast Chabad, will say the blessings and light the menorah. Each night there will be a different celebrity with him, for example, Darryl Sabara of "Spy Kids," who will also give a personal message about the Chanukah experience.
Then the Hollywood Klezmer Band will play, and a group of students, immigrants, community leaders, celebrities and, of course, bearded rabbis, will kick up their heels and dance the hora in celebration of the Festival of Lights.
"This is a project that takes the concept of pirsumei nissah, spreading the miracle of Chanukah to the next level," said Rabbi Chaim Cunin, the group's public relations director. "Years ago, people felt that Chanukah should be kept in the house, but thank God it has turned into this [public] beautiful thing."
"This show is a good way to expose people to the menorah experience," he said. "You have to imagine that if they had television 1,000 years ago, someone would have done it then."
"Chanukah, the Miniseries" will be shown sometime between 4:15 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. nightly from Nov. 29-Dec. 6. The program will also be simulcast on AskMoses.com.