Monday, September 15, 2008

Chabad - Telethon raises $8 million for charity

VIN reports:

Chasidic choir \'Shirah\' singing at the telethonHolywood, CA - With heartfelt appeals and joyful performances from a diverse group of celebrity guests, the 2008 Chabad “To Life” Telethon generated more than $8 million for the charity.

“We are so deeply humbled and inspired by the amazing generosity shown by our community,” said Rabbi Boruch S. Cunin, Director of West Coast Chabad. “Especially in these tough economic times, more and more people are turning to Chabad for help — and thanks to the incredible kindness of our wonderful partners, we can continue our vital mission to serve those in need.”

The 28th annual telethon, a live, six-hour broadcast was hosted once again by actor/comedian Elon Gold, who was joined this year by two new co-hosts, actress Leslie Grossman and young piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick.

Longtime supporter Jon Voight led an impressive line-up of award-winning film and TV stars, including Martin Landau, James Cromwell, Camryn Manheim, Mimi Rogers, JoBeth Williams, and Tom Arnold. Actors Shoreh Aghdashloo and Jonathan Ahdout from the film “House of Sand and Fog” also made live appearances, along with actors Kellie Martin and Merrin Dungey. Pre-taped messages came in from Larry King, Jackie Mason, Howie Mandel, Regis Philbin and other celebrities.

Telethon Co-Chairmen Jerry Weintraub and Marshall Grossman greeted on-air guests and helped spread the word about Chabad’s grass-roots activities — from its nonsectarian Drug Treatment Center to its senior citizens outreach programs and the Friendship Circle, which serves children with special needs.

11 comments :

  1. Once again showing us why Chabad is THE definitive force in kiruv today.

    As others rant and rave about their deficiencies, they just keep plowing ahead with their mission.

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  2. Chabad's drug rehab program already receives government grants to cover costs incurred by needy patients. Those who have the means, self pay.

    The program treats patients from a variety of racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds, not only Jews. The program must be non sectarian and open to all in order to receive government funding.

    Is it a valid use of tzedaka money to support this program?

    Past participants in Chabad telethons include Bob Dylan, Martin Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Adam Sandler, Dennis Franz, Anthony Hopkins, Howie Mandel, Jimmy Kimmel, Matisyahu, Edward James Olmos, Magic Johnson.

    Is it right for an "Orthodox" Jewish sect to promote Hollywood, with its lifestyle, which is well known as antithetical to Jewish values, even in the name of a "greater" good?

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  3. This is the blurb from the Facebook account for the telethon, it seems as though Chabad has outgrown Judaism and has branched out to spreading its message to the rest of the world (Project Pride is an anti drug program in the public schools that has been going on for many years):

    Celebrating life is all about chabad. A major social services provider through the sheer force of commitment to humankind. Chabad offers a diverse variety of programs to meet the needs and intrests of the community. Through its 106 centers in California and Nevada, Chabad offers services ranging from adult education to drug rehabilitation and from summer camp for the youth to public holiday celebrations for evryone. Our Programs deliver material, emotional and psychological assistance to people in need of help.
    Description: Chabad offers a diverse variety of programs to meet the needs and interests of the community. The Chabad National residential drug rehabilitation center serves people from every state in the union and overseas while maintaining a success rate well above average. Project PRIDE, Chabad's drug prevention-education program founded 23 prevention centers in the US and Canada serving over 40,000 children annually. our collegiate programs at major universities throughout the region provide a sense of family to those far away from home

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  4. Recipients and PublicitySeptember 16, 2008 at 1:53 AM

    Why is the subject of this post blogworthy?

    Does it change anything?

    Chabad has been running this type of telethon for decades now. It's to raise money for drug rehab programs and they get to pay some of their expenses.

    Is it any different to the Klausenburg Chasidim who run, and raise money for, Laniado hospital in Israel? Or to yeshivas and Agudathe Israel organizations in America that invite non-Jewish politicians and judges to speak at their annual fund-raising dinners? Or that they opnely work with Catholic instititions and bishops on common lobbying and goverment money-requesting tactics?

    How about that in Satmar they will support Neturei Karta financially and by walking around draped with PLO flags and protests against Israel in front of the UN meant to attract non-Jewish TV crews and get on the news even though Satmar is against both TV and the secular media?

    Or that Haredi parties in Israel sit in the same Knesset and government with avowed atheists and anti-religious people just so they can raise their funds through the Israeli state budget.

    Just that Chabad is not limited and it will utilize celebrities for its fund-raising. Big deal. If it's "hypocrisy" then they are not alone by a long way in the Haredi and Hasidic world!

    Call it pragmatism.

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  5. "Just that Chabad is not limited and it will utilize celebrities for its fund-raising. Big deal. If it's "hypocrisy" then they are not alone by a long way in the Haredi and Hasidic world!

    Call it pragmatism".

    just don't sanctify your "pragmatism" with holiness and with bringing G-dliness into the world, and the same time call all nasty and derogatory names (and worse) to some of the organizations in some of the examples you mention.

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  6. Recipients and PublicitySeptember 16, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    To asher who retorts: "just don't sanctify your "pragmatism" with holiness and with bringing G-dliness into the world, and the same time call all nasty and derogatory names (and worse) to some of the organizations in some of the examples you mention."

    To clarify: I am not a Lubavitcher and was DESCRIBING something, not "sanctifying" it, because I neither do I "sanctify" pragmatism "with holiness and with bringing G-dliness into the world" nor do I personally "call all nasty and derogatory names (and worse) to some of the organizations in some of the examples you mention" because, to repeat, you are tooting your own horn at the wrong guy, as I am not a member or follower of Chabad, so please do not be illogical and change the subject of my comments.

    What I was doing was noting that there is nothing unusual about Chabad raising funds for itself via utilizing non-Jewish and secular celebrities in telethons, since all the non-Chabad and Charedi and Chasidic groups do similar things, like Agudath Israel of America that invites non-Jewish politicians and judges as honored guests and main speakers at its fund-raising dinners, or like many Satmar Chasidim who support the Neturei Karta and get along with the PLO and even Iran in public in front of the world's TV cameras and news media, or the Charedi parties of Chasidim and Misnagdim in the Israeli Knesset who sit in that secular Zionist political body and even in the government in order to get funds from the Israeli budget.

    That's all I was saying, and it can objectively be called pragmatism (you may call it something else, it's just my DESCRIPTIVE suggestion) even by any objective non-Chabad observer, and which brings us full circle that this post was uncalled for and petty in the first place and tells us nothing new.

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  7. Do you equat utilizing and glorifying "and secular celebrities in telethons" ie. actors whose lifestyle and expertise is in many cases a lifestyle of gilluy arayot and this is their exeprtise and skill to "Agudath Israel of America that invites non-Jewish politicians and judges as honored guests and main speakers at its fund-raising dinners", whose lifestyle and skill is in essnce not a lifestyle of promiscuity (in the essence of their vocation),

    and how is it an equation:
    "and so "Charedi parties of Chasidim and Misnagdim in the Israeli Knesset who sit in that secular Zionist political body and even in the government in order to get funds from the Israeli budget", where they are not in there to support the lifestyle of the secular but an ad hoc contract in issues where they agree and the need to form such a cotrnact is simple a mode to exist and coexist. (i'm not talking about the propriety to be a partner in wrong decisions or worse).

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  8. Please be aware that the above posts posted by "asher" were not posted by me "Asher Heber".

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  9. I think the main point may have been missed in the above comments. It has long been a strongly accepted halachic position that publicly-Sabbath-violating Jews may not be honored by Orthodox organizations, even for money. Chabad (to my knowledge) is the only and certainly the first to publicly flaunt that norm. They have had mechalel Shabbos, intermarried and every other type of non-halachic Jew being called up, kisssed, and danced with publicly, in effect condoning deviance from halacha in return for money to Chabad. In the church, this selling of indulgences led to a schism. Here it should at least lead to a condemnation.

    Having non-Jews speak at an organization dinner is something else entirely, and that was never prohibited.

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  10. Yossi G. said...

    It has long been a strongly accepted halachic position that publicly-Sabbath-violating Jews may not be honored by Orthodox organizations, even for money.
    ...
    Having non-Jews speak at an organization dinner is something else entirely, and that was never prohibited.


    Could you give us some sources for this prohibition and the exception for speakers at dinners?

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  11. I have been to quite a number of non Chabad but Chreidi dinners where non Jewish entertainers were used.I specifically remember one in particular,a Yeshiva Torah Vedaas annual banquet which goes back a number of years ago where Jimmy Durante was the live entertainer.
    As to non Jews being honored at such banquets,Yosi G must be living in la la land.Mechalilei Shabbos ,intermarried and all other non halachic jews have been honored at so called frum organizational banquets Litvish,chasidesh,MO,yeshivesh,you name it. By the way this subject was brought on another prominent Jewish blog where this subject was discussed at length and they were not discussing Chabad.It seems to be a phenomenon that has effected the entire frum spectrum.

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