With the growing focus within Jewish leadership on the need to reach Jewish teenagers, Chabad is working creatively with this demographic. This Chanukah it went all out to celebrate the holiday with them; 500 Jewish teenagers celebrated at Chanukah parties thrown especially for them in five locations across the country, organized by Chabad Teen Network, or Cteen.
In New York, 200 teens from 14 Cteen chapters hit Manhattan in Menorah-decked limousines for a concert with Chasidic rappers ‘Describe’ and ‘Ylove,’ a hypnosis show with Ronnie Baras, and NY style pizza and traditional Chanukah food.
Two stretch limousines packed with Cteens joined a 100 car Menorah parade in Los Angeles, followed by a latke-making competition and an inspiring discussion about heroism today with an US soldier, who spoke about his experiences in Iraq.
300 Cteens in Miami, Florida met at American Airlines Arena for a Chanukah bash and a Miami Heat game, and then got to shoot hoops after full-time.
Five Cteen chapters in Pennsylvania joined JLI Teens and Friendship Circle volunteers for a 150 car Menorah parade, a Chanukah party and hypnosis show. In Washington, 40 Cteens from Richmond, BC and Bellevue, Washington came together for donuts and pizza, followed by bowling and Menorah lighting.
Rabbi Sholom Elishevitz of Eastside Torah Center Chabad in Bellevue says the message for the teens was about standing firm against the tide and being proud to be Jewish, “which we instill in the kids through experiencing Judaism in a fun way.”
“The Chanukah event was really amazing, we had so much fun,” says sixteen year old Michelle Horev, a Cteen at Chabad of the Main Line, Pennsylvania. “It was great because there was a really big crowd this time, so I got to meet a lot of new people who are also part of Cteen.”