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Shavuot Celebration 

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Roving Rabbis to Bring Shavuot Spirit to the Okanagan

An ice cream party, all-night learn-a-thon and full holiday kiddush bruch are just a taste of what’s in store at this year’s Shavuot celebrations to be held on May 23-25 at Chabad Okanagan's Centre for Jewish Life and Learning. Three young roving rabbis, hailing from Chicago and Brooklyn, will by flying in for the holiday simply to spread the Holiday cheer. “Though it marks a cornerstone event in our history, Shavuot, the Biblical Festival during which we celebrate the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people, seems to have lost its place on the calendars of many,” remarks Rabbi Shmuly Hecht  who co-directs Chabad Okanagan along with his wife Fraidy.  “We’ve often had a hard time gathering a minyan for the reading of the Ten Commandments,” he says, referring to the quorum of ten men required in order to read from the Torah.

This year, however, promises an unforgettable Shavuot. Excitement is building in the community as preparations are underway for the arrival of the young rabbis and the host of holiday programs they will conduct. Saturday night, May 23, at 9:00 p.m., Rabbi Shimon Sabol of Brooklyn, NY will discuss “Why All NIght At Mount Sinai?” at a communal gourmet Shavuot dinner and all-night learn-a-thon to be held at 2137 Kaslo Court, followed by presentations to be made by various community members on the subjects of "Torah's influence in my life" and "What my Rabbi wouldn't tell me"!

A gala ice cream party and interactive program for children of all ages will take place on Sunday, May 24 at 11:30 a.m. at the Chabad Centre 2597 Richter St. in Kelowna BC, featuring holiday activities, prizes, raffles and the reading of the Ten Commandments from the sacred Torah Scroll, just how it has been done for the last 3327 years. Open to the entire community, parents, grandparents and anyone in between can enjoy the holiday service taking place at that time, to be followed by a gourmet kiddush bruch.

“We are really looking forward to the arrival of the guest rabbis and are grateful to the anonymous donor who has helped make this possible,” enthuses Mrs. Fraidy Hecht. Though these young men have been studying at yeshivahs away from home throughout the year, they’ve chosen to join Chabad Okanagan for the holiday instead of spending it with their family and friends. “The fact that they are seeking to brighten the lives of others on expense of their own pleasure, is so refreshing and heartwarming...very commendable considering the tendencies of today’s teens and young adults,” Fraidy reflects. “These young men serve as role models for selflessness and leadership, reflecting a life, lived based on the Torah’s values. How appropriate it is that they are joining us for the very holiday during which we celebrate the giving of the Torah.”

Rabbi Shmuly Hecht adds, “The giving of the Torah was not just a one-time event that took place 3327 years ago. The Torah is G‑d’s gift to every Jewish person and, each year, on Shavuot, G‑d endows it to us once again.”

Be on hand to celebrate the receiving of the Torah this year at Chabad Okanagan on May 23, 24 and 25. All programs are free of charge. Visit www.Jewishokanagan.com or call 250 575 5384 for more information.