Israel Bardugo with Rabbi of US military

Chabad parties it up with Schwarzenegger

Ynet correspondent Israel Bardugo heads to California for a Chabad-hosted Hanukkah party at Governor Schwarzenegger's residence. Take a look at the festivities that millions in America saw broadcasted live

CALIFORNIA – After meeting with US President George W. Bush and lighting Hanukkah candles with the Attorney General in Washington, Chabad representatives shared the holiday festivities with yet another influential US statesman—California "Governator" Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Rabbi Shlomo Konin, Chabad's chief envoy to California, hosted a Hanukkah candle-lighting celebration at the governor's residence in Sacramento in an event broadcast across the country via the major American television networks.

Governor Schwarzenegger at the festivities (Photo: Israel Bardugo)


The Hanukkah event has turned into a annual tradition of sorts, with Chabad leading the efforts to bring their teachings to the Sunshine State.

Schwarzenegger handing out goodies (Photo: Israel Bardugo)


Despite heavy rains, this year the festivities attracted Hollywood A-listers as well as soldiers and firefighters. A particular emphasis was placed on honoring the efforts of California's firefighters some two months after they battled to put out raging wildfires that plagued the state's south.


During the ceremony Governor Schwarzenegger and Chabad rabbis awarded outstanding firefighters with certificates of appreciation for their heroism in combating the blazes.

Lighting the candles with Rabbi Konin (Photo: Israel Konin)


The ceremony also featured a live broadcast of a candle-lighting ceremony by US soldiers serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan who lit the menorah with the assistance of Chabad emissaries who traveled to the far-flung destinations.

US troops lighting the menorah in Iraq and Afghanistan (Photo: Israel Bardugo)


Actor Jon Voight spoke at the event and discussed his longtime involvement with Chabad. He urged people watching at home to support the Chabad organization and its undertakings.


Schwarzenegger thanked the organization for its charity work during the wildfire disaster.

Jon Voight (Photo: Israel Bardugo)


He also touched on Chabad's contribution to the state as a whole and shook the hands of the envoys that he said help spread the light of Hanukkah everywhere.


A few minutes before the broadcast ended, the Chabad envoys managed to drag Schwarzenegger and his entourage onto the dance floor for some Hasidc dancing.


Rabbi Konin spoke with Ynet about the event's unexpected turnout: "There were some doubts. We're talking about a live broadcast the size of which we have not seen until today for a similar Jewish event. In spite of the downpour, people still came and it was a big success."


פרסום ראשון: 12.14.07, 21:56
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