Chabad Houses in Vancouver were full this Purim, with thousands of tourists in town for the Olympics.
A Friday night dinner with the Israeli Olympians was held at Chabad of Vancouver Central, with over 300 guests.
Rabbi Yitzchok Wineberg, executive director for Chabad Of Western Canada, spoke to participants. “What a kiddush Hashem, that the Israeli olympians wore a yarmulkeh and tichel, representing traditional Judaism, during their figure skating performances,” he remarked.
At a Purim Party held on Motzai Shabbos, Israeli singer Yoel Sharabi performed, with hundreds of people in attendance.
“Chabad gives me the opportunity to inspire so many people,” said Sharabi, adding that “it’s amazing how Rabbi Wineberg brings such a diverse group of Jews together.” Following the performance, the crowd broke into a Chassidic dance.
Sunday afternoon, Chabad of Vancouver, led by Rabbi Yechiel and Chani Baitelman, hosted a Purim party. For added excitement, the Gold Medal Men’s Hockey game was screened live following the megillah reading. During the break between periods, the men put on teffilin.
“Due to all the prayers here in the River Rock, that made us win,” said participant Bruce Schwartz.
Following the game, Moshe Frank performed Chassidic Purim music for the crowd.
Sunday evening, Rabbi Binyomin Bitton hosted a grand Purim party. With the Chabad house strategically located at the heart of the Olympics, many tourists attended the party. The Megillah was read after the Olymics closing ceremonies, and Rabbi Bitton and the local Yeshivah boys farbrenged late into the night.