Like just about everyone else, you were probably wondering what to do and where to go with the kids for Labor Day weekend. Considering the alternative of staying in Crown Heights and having the children enjoy the sights and sounds of the local Labor Day parade, any nearby alternative offering wholesome Jewish entertainment would be welcome.
The best kept secret for the perfect getaway on this weekend is Labor Day Weekend Carnival and Concert in Long Beach just thirty minutes away. For three years now, Rabbi Eli Goodman, of the BACH Center Synagogue and director of Chabad of Long Beach, has been producing the annual Summer Carnival, a gala entertainment and educational event with fun and free admission for the entire family.
Complete with a ferris wheel, rollercoaster and other exciting rides, this beachside Jewish carnival event along the boardwalk of picturesque Long Beach, runs Sunday and Monday of Labor day each year. Over two thousand children and adults came to hear live Jewish, music try their hand at the arcades, browse the Judaica art vendors, enjoy glatt kosher hotdogs and popcorn in the refreshing sea air.
The carnival also has a strong Jewish dimension with hundreds of Jewish families in attendance. There was a replica ‘Kotel’ for Jewish men and boys to put on tefillin and a intermittent Mincha minyan. Rabbi Goodman also made special arrangements for the Tzivos Hashem Shofar Factory to churn out dozens of shofars every hour for the visitors, a Jewish educational highlight of the carnival event.
Between rides and kosher cotton candy, the children took to the shofar making with gusto. “What kind of mouthpiece would you like your shofar to have,” asked shofar craftsman Meir Albukerk, “a big one that is easier to blow, or a thin one like the experts like?” “Make me a thin one, because I will keep this shofar for all my life.” Answered the child.
Reb Binyomin, a baal tokea at a Long Beach synagogue and longtime supporter of Chabad, brought out his own shofars to be fine tuned at the Shofar Factory, and ended up making three new ones. “I like the long shofars, it attracts the kids and they pay more attention during services,” he said.
A summer local, Rabbi Zev Brenner, executive producer of TALKLINE Jewish radio and television network was also taken by the entire atmosphere. In an impromptu interview with Rabbi Michoel Albukerk, director of Tzivos Hashem Crafts Workshops, Zev Brenner said that he was very proud of his children making their own shofars at the carnival and wholeheartedly supports Rabbi Goodman’s great work with youth in Long Beach.
On Sunday, the carnival was the perfect spot for a visit by the Frienship Circle bikers who got a well earned rest from pedaling their road tour and refreshed themselves with kosher food, fun and camaraderie.
In case you missed it this year, mark your calendar for the Labor Day Weekend Carnival in Long Beach. Next year in Yerushalayim!
For more information for this event, visit bachyouth.com. For more information on the Tzivos Hashem Shofar Factory visit JewishChildren.com.