They came from throughout the West Coast – over 450 Lubavitcher Anash children from over 40 moisdos, arrived this past Shabbos to the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
They came to be empowered and to participate in the Hachonas of Yud Shevat. They were greeted by giant banners on buildings, lawn signs, personal welcoming lunch bags, a detailed program handbook and a booklet about Yud Shevat.
After settling in at their hosts in more than 200 homes they all headed to various workshops. The workshops were given by many Rabonim, community leaders, and Mashpiim, on various topics of Chasidus and Yiddishkiet.
After the workshops the children and staff marched with song and dance along La Brea and Beverly Boulevards, and headed to the largest and oldest sanctuary located at Congregation Shaarei Tefila. It was there that the children were electrified by the legendary speaker and executive director of C-Teens international Rabbi Shimon Rivkin with Davening singing and dancing during Kabolas Shabbos. Friday night ended with many personal Farbrengens throughout the city.
Shabbos morning over 12 Torah readings took place at Congregation Levi Yitzchak, so the older Bar Mitzva Boys could get their Aliyah for Yud Shvat.
Shortly after, all of the participants of the convention then joined the legendary children Minyan- Kol Yakov Yehuda-The Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners, where Rabbi Mendel Duchman founder and director of KYY lead the Davening with his honorable mentions, prizes and various motivating incentives.
Seudos Shabbos was then served in 2 separate catering halls to facilitate all attendees. Rabbi Rivkin together with Head counselors, JJ Duchman and Shmuel Wagner led the Ezras Anoshim and Rabbi Dov Ber and Srula Chaiton led the Ezras Noshim. Following an afternoon of Mesibos Shabbos and activities, the children were treated to a “behind the scenes” presentation by the world renowned ventriloquist Mr. Chuck Field and his Shabbos guest Ziggy the Yiddel. Mincha was followed by a hilarious “Shmayonkee” acted out by the well known Camp director Rabbi Zalman Hecht of Jr. cong. Kol Avrom. An uplifting musical Havdalah with Rabbi Rivkin highlighted the end of Shabbos.
The entire convention culminated with a full blown Hakel Farbrengen and concert, led by the legendary 8th day – Benzy and Shmuly Marcus at the famous Hollywood Bancroft performing arts auditorium. The evening was opened by a special video of the Rebbe, featuring the Unzere Kinder Hakhel theme song.
“As I look around this auditorium all I see is the future C-teen leaders and future Shluchim; this is our leaders of tomorrow – Chazak Chazak V’nischazek,” Rabbi Rivkin shouted.
Suddenly in middle of the concert the vibration of a helicopter landing on the roof of the auditorium was felt and from behind the curtains.
Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum, the international director of Tzivos Hashem surprised all by appearing and electrifying the kids by leading the 12 pesukim.
“After being at the inaugural Unzere Kinder Convention two years ago, there was no way I would miss this,” Rabbi Weinbaum said.
The rally/concert/musical farbrengen ended with the children singing and dancing for over an hour with the Marcus Brothers. A thank you email to the organizers summed up the event:
“To the organizers of the unzere kinder convention – ‘eer hot Poshut oifgehoiben’ our four children who traveled for hours to be with their fellow Lubavitcher kids for Shabbos. Just saying thank you is not efficient, in this crazy world that brings so much negative to our children – kol Hakovod to you all, may you all be bentched for many years to come,” the email concluded.