by Reuven Arazi
The 32nd Annual South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival is getting bigger and better. Considering that over 10,000 people have participated each year since the event was moved to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach back in 2007, the staff and volunteers preparing the upcoming Festival set for Monday, December 26th, have coordinated a star studded program that will guarantee the biggest attendance ever. The crowd will be even bigger than last year, as tens of thousands of tourists, in love with Jewish music, are expected that week in South Florida.
Benny Friedman, the most recent acclaimed Jewish music superstar, will be giving a live concert, where he will be getting the most exposure he has ever had in South Florida. Benny’s bestselling debut album “Taamu” was released in 2009, and his rising popularity has made him very high in demand in the Jewish music world.
The Festival takes place in Hallandale Beach, at Gulfstream Park, US1 and Hallandale Beach Blvd.The event is annually produced and directed by Chabad of South Broward, leaders in Jewish education, social services and community outreach.
In addition to Friedman, who originates from the Twin Cities, Minnesota and now lives in Brooklyn, the Festival will also feature the twin Chassidic Acrobats from France. A dazzling performance by these artists will provide Festival goers of all ages an experience that will last a lifetime.
Also Starring at the 32nd Annual South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival, is young Yisroel Amar, recent winner of the Jewish Junior Star singing competition. Yisroel is a homegrown local talent, from Golden Beach, Florida.
Last year, the Chanukah Festival was seen live around the world via Jewish TV @ Chabad.org. It was the most watched live Jewish TV Show in 2010. People from across the globe, from the Ukraine to Israel, from South America to Australia, were fixed to their screens for the three hour Chanukah production that warmed so many hearts and inspired so many souls.
The Festival will be preceded by a one hundred Car Menorah parade, starting out from the Yeshivah Gedolah of Greater Miami, under the auspices of Florida Friends of Lubavitch.
Other Festival highlights include the lighting of Florida’s Largest Menorah, led by Cantor Rabbi Yossy Lebovics and a large lineup of community leaders and dignitaries, free Chanukah gelt and goodies for the thousands of children in attendance, a delicious dinner (for a nominal fee), and scores of valuable prizes.
Rabbi Levi Tennenhaus, the events’ coordinator and Chabad’s Program Director, encourages those who can afford to get reserved seating: “The event, as always, is free. However, in addition to our major sponsors, individuals are entitled to reserve VIP seats for $100 per seat. This will help both the Festival, which runs at an enormous cost as a service to the community, and individuals who want the luxury and convenience to sit up front with their seats reserved exclusively for them and their families.”
Chanukah marks the birthday of Chabad of South Broward. The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward now runs from their Headquarters in Hallandale Beach over forty programs and institutions throughout Broward county, including Project PRIDE, a non-sectarian drug prevention and education program, The Friendship Circle, an incredible interactive program for children with special needs, Florida’s only Teachers Seminary for Women, the fast expanding CHAI TOTS Preschool and Hebrew Club, Bar and Bat Mitzvah Clubs, CTEEN Club, 3 Mikvahs accessible to the physically challenged, Camp Gan Israel, Kollel for Businessmen and Professionals, and 12 Synagogues. Chabad of South Broward is headed by Rabbi Raphael and Goldie Tennenhaus, who came to Broward County in December 1980.Log on to Chabadsouthbroward.com to see the scope of Chabad’s wide range of programs.
For more festival information, and to reserve VIP and box seats, please call 954-458-1877 or email [email protected], or log on to Chanukahfestival.com.