More than 800 people joined Chabad at four services conducted simultaneously this Yom Kippur in the premiere entertainment destination of the world. The city’s mayor, Oscar Goodman, joined Rabbi Yehoshua Harlig and 250 people at Chabad of Southern Nevada’s Ashkenaz services, where one participant admitted that he hadn’t set foot in a shul since his Bar Mitzvah some sixty years ago.
According to retired conservative rabbi, Louis Lederman, services this year at Chabad were more inspiring than ever before. That speaks volumes for Chabad’s ability to illuminate the spirit when all that glitters here is gold. Lederman actually found himself hoping Yom Kippur at Chabad wouldn’t end this year. “The feeling at Chabad this Yom Kippur was incredible,” he says. “Chabad has raised the Jewish quotient in Las Vegas astronomically.” Chabad’s Sefardic services in Southern Nevada drew 250 people; 150 attended services at Chabad of Summerlin and beginning the new year in their new facilities, Chabad of Green Valley held Yom Kippur services for more than 150 participants.
HIGHLAND PARK, IL
It’s the third year in a row that a young girl, raised in a secular home in this upper class Chicago suburb, has been coming to Chabad for Yom Kippur services. “She spent many long hours in the shul this year,” says Mrs. Michal Schanowitz, who directs Chabad activities of Highland Park with her husband Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz.
“Chabad shuls have become a magnetic force because people know at that a time when they are thirsting for spiritual fulfillment Chabad is reliably there, and ready to answer this need and help fill that void,” says Michla.
The 400 worshipers at Chabad had a happily unusual experience this Yom Kippur. It was just before the Yizkor prayer, remembering those who have passed away, that a baby boy, 8 days old, was circumcised and bound in the covenant of Abraham on the holiest day of the Jewish year. “This really drove the concept of renewal and continuity in Judaism on a day which is essentially about just that,” says Mrs. Schanowitz.
On college campuses across the country hundreds of students joined Chabad student centers for services, the long weekend notwithstanding. At SUNY in Binghamton over 250 joined Rabbi Aaron and Rivky Slonim for services on campus.
Nearly 200 students
participated in services with Rabbi Alter Goldstein at the Universtiy of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
At Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, 100 students joined the local Jewish community and Chabad representatives Rabbi Yochanan and Sara Rivkin for services. “Yom Kippur is an opportunity to renew and strengthen existing commitments and to take on new resolutions. When students join Chabad for services for the High Holy Days, they’ve taken a huge step in the right direction,” says Sara.