By COLlive reporter
Photos by LA photographer Yossi Percia
Some 400 people come to the Lorimar Vineyards & Winery in the picturesque wine country of Temecula, California, for the Bar Mitzvah celebration of Eli Chaim Hurwitz last week.
Lawrence Lipton and Mark Mansfield, owners of the winery, originally set up for 150 participants. But they watched with joy as the crowd quickly swelled with guests driving in from as far as San Francisco.
It was a touching tribute to the boy’s father, Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, Director of Chabad of Temecula who was recently diagnosed with ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease which weakens physical abilities.
After a Bar Mitzvah was held in New York, Hurwitz’s community members, friends and fellow Shluchim organized a second celebration on the West Coast.
Lipton and Mansfield, supporters of Hurwitz and his dedicated work, were happy to offer their award winning venue. The gourmet meal was generously catered by Mendel Goldman of MGM Catering.
The celebration and a magnificent community Shabbos that preceded it was ably coordinated by Yossi Burston.
California residents Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus of the 8th Day band sang some of their hits in acappella and the celebration had an uplifting mood, thanks to Rabbi Hurwitz’s humor and infectious smile.
His wife, Dina Hurwitz thanked everyone for coming and showing their love and support. “It is a tremendous privilege for our family to be Shluchim of the Rebbe – even in difficult times and in an isolated place such as Temecula,” she said.
The event was emceed by R’ Shmuel “Mushi” Fogelman of Los Angeles, who is one of the 5 members on a committee that has vowed to support the Hurwitz family medically, emotionally and financially in the coming years.
“We need every amount possible to allow them to go through this trying period,” he said. “And we need your contributions now to assist this wonderful chossid, shliach, husband, father and friend to many.”
Fogelman is joined by Rabbi Shlomo Bistritsky, Rabbi Reuven Mintz, Rabbi Simcha Backman and Rabbi Yossi Baitleman.
A New York-based group includes R’ Moshe Rosenfeld, R’ Shlomy Feldman and R’ Naftali Berkowitz.
They urged the public to continue praying for Yitzchok ben Bracha and make a monthly or one-time pledge at www.HurwitzFamilyFund.com.