The ‘King of Cable” takes the Chabad Telethon Prime Time with his 2011 Rosh Hashana Special. After stepping down last December from the throne he held for 25 years on “Larry King LIVE”, the Television icon steps back up on the air for what could be called “Larry King ‘To Life!,’”-hosting the 31st Chabad “To-Life!” Telethon, broadcasting live from Hollywood on Sunday, September 25th, from 8PM – 11PM (PDT). This perennial favorite is already famous as a magnet to celebrity guests-Adam Sandler, Jackie Mason, Martin Sheen, Jennifer Aniston and Jimmy Kimmel-all of whom joined the dancing rabbis to help raise money for the good work Chabad does for people in need from all faiths and backgrounds.
There are always surprise celebrities who show up on the Chabad Telethon: Neil Diamond stopped by to sing “Coming to America,” Bob Dylan dropped in to sing “Hava Nagila” and NBA Champion Jordan Farmar popped in to shoot hoops right on the live Telethon set! So far, the growing list joining host Larry King on Sept 25th include Oscar winners Jon Voight and Elliot Gould, TV personalities Howie Mandel and Tom Arnold, a surprise NBA star and co-hosts Sam Rubin, and Stella Inger. There will also be special Rosh Hashana performances by Jewish music stars Mordechai Ben David, Avrhahm Fried, the Yeshiva Boys Choir and Broadway & Yiddish Theater legend Mike Burstyn.
Asked why he chose to come back to Prime Time to host this Rosh Hashana fundraiser for Chabad, Larry King said: “We all have friends and family who’ve fallen upon bitter times, and this Rosh Hashana it will take more than just ‘an apple in honey’ to bring them a sweet year. So many lost their jobs, their savings, their homes and the stress has torn apart families. So I’m joining to help the thousands of people from all faiths and backgrounds who’ve turned to Chabad in dire need.”
“The Telethon supports Chabad’s network of over 200 community outreach centers, and a broad range of educational and nonsectarian programs providing social services to the needy and support for children with special needs” said Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, head of West Coast Chabad. Last year’s broadcast generated more than $6 million in charitable gifts, with donations ranging from a single dollar to tens of thousands. The Telethon is co-chaired by Hollywood mega producer Jerry Weintraub and all-star attorney Marshall Grossman.
John Moczulski, Vice President of KTLA 5, is excited about the partnership. “KTLA 5 is proud to partner with Chabad to bring the Telethon to Los Angeles. As Los Angeles’ marquee news station and the only station with ‘LA’ in our call letters, we see Chabad’s dedication to helping people, and we want to be a part of it. They’re an amazing part of our community; they represent the heart and soul of what makes LA special-its generosity and commitment to those in need,” he said.
For the first time the Telethon will reach more than 150 million households worldwide and will be available nationwide on DirectTV on Jewish Life Television’s (JLTV) Channel 366, as well all major Jewish markets, including, NY on WLNY 10/55, South Florida on Comcast and Atlantic Broadband and the Telethon will stream live on the web at ToLife.com.
King said he loves the energy and boundless joy of the dancing rabbis and was especially drawn to become host of the Telethon because of Chabad’s unique approach to fundraising “before we ask you to open your wallets, we ask you to open your hearts,” he said.
This year Larry King will be dedicating a memorial wall in the UCLA Chabad House in honor of his parents and is inviting viewers to join him in dedicating a “Yizkor” memorial plaque in memory of his or her dearly departed. “I know my parents are proud of me as I join Chabad in helping the needy” he said. Asked why he chose the world’s first Chabad House for his parents’ memorial wall, King explained: “Chabad House is a place where anyone in need finds an open door to an open heart. Their approach to tikkun Olam is to fix the world one broken heart at a time.”
For more go to TOLIFE.com