A Concert, Menorah Lighting,
House Visits & an Art Auction
Highlight Channukah Celebration FREE of
Brighton Beach Featured All Four of Them
The Russian-Jewish community of Brighton Beach and environs
took part and enjoyed four Channuka events at FREE Center
of Brighton Beach. Some 500 community people, young and old,
were thrilled at the “Welcome Channukah” concert
featuring Cantor Abraham Pressman, of Israel, and the award-winning
M-Generation Boys Choir.
They also enjoyed the public outdoor daily menorah lightings
at Coney Island and Brighton Beach Avenues. Hot latkes, donuts
and l’chaim were distributed to all; live music and
dancing warmed up the cold nights. Dignitaries and prominent
members of the Russian-Jewish community lit the menorah candles
each night while Channukah gelt and dreidels were distributed
to the kids.
Over 1,000 folks participated in the event notwithstanding
the rain on two of the evenings. Menorahs, candles and holiday
brochures were distributed to those attending. “I was
really proud to stand outside even in the rain to take part
in the lighting of the menorah,” said Misha. “It
was something that I never dreamt possible in my hometown
In the third event, Lubavitch yeshiva students rang doorbells,
visiting locals in the area to hand them menorahs, candles
and holiday brochures. Some 150 students took part in the
Channukah gift distribution program. Among the recipients
were the homebound elderly.
Finally, there was the “Chanukah Light” Fundraising
Party that featured an elegant buffet dinner, a performance
by the M-Generation Boys Choir and an art show plus an auction.
The event was enjoyed by all.
Honored at the Art Show
At the art show event, several individuals were honored for
commitment to the strengthening and support of Russian Jewry
here and FREE’s multi-faceted programs. Among them
were Mr. and Mrs. Alex Balanevsky, who received the Maccabbee
Award for outstanding contributions this year, as well as
Mr. and Mrs. Igor Kleynman and Mr. and Mrs. Slava Greenberg,
who won the Menorah Award for their continued support over
Honored too were Gena and Irene Shafir as well as Igor and
Milana Feldman. The ladies won the Yehudis Award for their
ongoing leadership as women in the community.
The art show and auction was lauded as a big success. Displayed
and auctioned off were works of art by renown Jewish artists.
Many were brought in by members of the audience. “It
was a beautiful evening, and I’m very happy that I
came out here with my family from Staten Island because this
synagogue is definitely our home,” said Arkady G.
Meanwhile Irena Buchman, who held her three newly purchased
works of art said, “The art show was a great idea.
I never realized there were so many types of good Jewish
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