This year F.R.E.E. of Brighton Beach celebrated Chanukah in grand style! On Sunday, December 25, the 6th light of Chanukah, guests attended a gala event in the main shul on Brighton 6th which was transformed to an upscale party with winter wonderland décor.
The evening began with a Menorah lighting led by Rabbi Hershel Okonov, who started F.R.E.E. in 1968 on the directives of the Rebbe. Rabbi Okonov, the Shliach of Brighton Beach, thanked the Russian community for all their support in fulfilling the Rebbe’s mission. Rabbi Dovid Okonov, also a shliach, then inspired the crowd to take a lesson from the candles of Chanukah and to keep increasing every day in acts of goodness.
An extravagant buffet dinner, sushi bar and open bar were supplied all evening long. An exciting Dreidel game was led by Rabbi Avremel Okonov, executive director of Mazel Day School of F.R.E.E., with the winners of individual tables playing against each other for the grand prize.
Jewish music was provided by the acclaimed DJ Versace, once a student in F.R.E.E.’s Yeshivah, who was very happy to be able to give back to his community. Guests were also treated to a surprise performance by one of the attendees – Michael Botsman, a famous Russian singer. The charged atmosphere led to dancing all night long!
The children in attendance were treated to an exciting and packed children’s program all about Chanukah.
Everyone had a wonderful time at the festive event, celebrating the Jewish holiday of light.
“This was literally the best Chanukah party ever!” said Valerie T., a guest.
On Monday afternoon, Boris Talis, a Russian radio personality and long time friend of F.R.E.E. of Brighton, spoke on the radio, how inspired he was by the unique party and what an impression Rabbi Hershel Okonov has made on him.
Photos: Alex Gorokhov-www.GlattPhotography.com