By COLlive reporter
Photos by Yossi Percia
The historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Hancock Park was turned into a major venue with over 1500 children from various schools. The celebration was billed as a Lag B’Omer Unity Concert and it turned out to be much more than that.
Before the curtains opened, one of Hollywood’s top jugglers entertained the attendees upon their arrival putting them immediately in the spirit of Lag BaOmer.
Suddenly a drum roll and lights went out, as 8th Day came on stage with their opening song of “Hooleh.” For the next few minutes the entire crowd was on their feet cheering for Shmuley Marcus and Benzi Marcus.
Rabbi Meir Greene, Shliach of Chabad of Tarzana, who served as the MC, welcomed all and introduced an inspiring video of the Rebbe about the importance of Lag B’Omer.
After the video, West Coast Head Shliach Rabbi Baruch Shlomo Cunin gave an energetic keynote address telling the children, “The Rebbe- our father will never leave us alone, he is always watching over us and our job is to stay connected to him.”
Levi Farkash, a 12-year-old student of Cheder Menachem, was then called up to the stage. He is the first cousin of Chaya Spalter, who passed away last week, and was representing the family who cannot be at the event due to Shiva. Levi recited the Rebbe’s Kapital.
As the 8th Day exited the stage, Levi Cohen, the elected president of Kol Yaakov Yehuda – The Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners, delivered a heartfelt message thanking all the attendees for all their great wishes for the Bar Mitzvah of Kol Yaakov Yehuda that was held the night before at an exclusive catered Seudois Mitzvah dinner.
He impressed upon them to take up the Hachlatah that when one davens it should be while you are looking into the siddur. After Cohen finished his speech he received a standing ovation.
Rabbi Greene then introduced, Rabbi Mendel Duchman, Founder and Director of the Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners, firstly by congratulating him on KYY’s Bar Mitzvah and then asking him to run the Tzivos Hashem Pesukim portion of the Concert.
Children from the entire coast starting with the Huntington Beach Hebrew Academy all the way to S. Barbara were called up to recite Pesukim.
This is when the entire crowd went into hysteria, as the famed Twins from France debuted in California, as they appeared on the stage in disguise of a horse and rider. For the next forty minutes all you could hear from the crowd was “oooh” and “ahhh” as they continued their act.
The celebration ended when the 8th Day joined the Twins for a grand finale.
“What was best at this year’s celebration was the combo of these two groups,” commented one of the principals who brought his school to the event. “The kids were especially impressed with the performance knowing that both groups are from our own.”
The Lag B’Omer Celebration was expanded to celebrate 50 years of Chabad Headquarters on the West Coast and the Bar Mitzvah of Kol Yaakov Yehuda, a Shul for the Kids by the Kids, which encouraged many anash communities worldwide to follow their concept.
The event was coordinated by Reb Yossi Burston an activist and coordinator of many Peulos in Los Angeles, Rabbi Tzemach Cunin, Shliach of Chabad of Century City, Rabbi Greene and Rabbi Duchman.