by Reuven Arazi
The 31th Annual South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival is getting bigger and better. Considering that over 10,000 people have participated each year since the event was moved to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach back in 2007, the staff and volunteers preparing the upcoming Festival set for Wednesday, December 8th, have coordinated a star studded program that will guarantee the biggest attendance ever.
Child prodigy Ethan Bortnick, of world renowned fame, who has appeared on every major television network, in concerts around the world, and at several South Florida Chanukah Festivals, will once again grace the stage of the world’s largest Chanukah Festival. Only nine years old, Ethan was an instant hit at the 2007 Chanukah Festival, when he was but six years of age. Ethan plays the piano brilliantly, has memorized some 300 songs, has composed his very own music and songs, and has a stage presence that is nothing short of remarkable.
Benny Friedman, rising Jewish singer today, will be giving a live concert, where he will be getting the most exposure he has ever had in South Florida. Benny’s bestselling debut album “Taamu” was released in 2009, and his rising popularity has made him very high in demand in the Jewish Music World.
The Festival takes place in Hallandale Beach, at Gulfstream Park, US1 and Hallandale Beach Blvd.The event is annually produced and directed by Chabad of South Broward, leaders in Jewish Education, social services and community outreach.
In addition to Friedman, who’s from Brooklyn, New York, the Festival will also feature the twin Hassidic Acrobats from France. A dazzling performance by these artists will provide Festival goers of all ages an experience that will last a lifetime.
The Festival will be preceded by a one hundred Car Menorah parade, starting out from the Yeshivah Gedolah of Greater Miami, under the auspices of Florida Friends of Lubavitch.
Other Festival highlights include the lighting of Florida’s Largest Menorah, led by Cantor Rabbi Yossy Lebovics and a large lineup of Community Leaders and Dignitaries, free Chanukah gelt and goodies for the thousands of children in attendance, a delicious dinner (for a nominal fee), and scores of valuable prizes.
Rabbi Levi Tennenhaus, the events’ coordinator and Chabads’ Program Director, encourages those who can afford to get reserved seating: “The event, as always, is free. However, in addition to our major sponsors, individuals are entitled to reserve VIP seats for $100 per seat. This will help both the Festival, which runs at an enormous cost as a service to the community, and individuals who want the luxury and convenience to sit up front with their seats reserved exclusively for them and their families”.