Friday, February 21, 2020

(Courtesy of Chabad of West Orange) In the quintessential spirit for which Chabad is known worldwide, the West Orange branch of the Chabad-Lubavitch organization will remember the victims of recent terror attacks at their June 13 annual dinner. In addition, new security measures implemented after the horrible terror attacks at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and at Chabad of Poway, California, will be reviewed. The message is clear: Chabad is taking security very seriously.

“I am still not over the Mumbai, India, terror attack which took the lives of our fellow Chabad shluchim and their guests in 2008,” said Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz, director of Chabad West Orange. “We live in a beautiful world with kind and loving people, but we must protect ourselves and defend against any possible terror attack from evil, the likes of which have sprung up recently here in the United States of America.”

“The Torah contains six hundred and thirteen commandments for the Jewish people. We specifically chose the date of 6/13 and incorporated the theme, ‘Do A Mitzvah!’ for our Annual Dinner,” said Kasowitz. “We should increase our acts of goodness and kindness to help make this world a better place.”

This year’s dinner honors Rachelle and Richard Press, longtime friends of Chabad West Orange who are very active in Jewish communal life, as well as two couples with family roots in the former Soviet Union, Regina and Ruslan Dimarsky and Lina and Felix Kanchik. The Communist nation did not value freedom of religion and persecuted Jewish educators and those that practiced their faith. Both the Dimarskys and Kanchiks celebrated their sons’ bar mitzvahs at Chabad this year and are proud to be able to celebrate their Judaism in ways that they were unable to growing up in Russia.

“The rabbi and the congregation were so welcoming to us,” commented Regina Dimarsky. “We knew after our friends Lina and Felix brought us to a holiday service with them for the first time that we found our spiritual home.”

“Chabad is a welcoming place for me to attend prayer services, classes and events,” said Rachelle Press in a written statement. “The Rabbi married us, named two of my grandchildren and my son had his aufruf at Chabad. It’s important for us to give back and encourage others to participate as well. Chabad is known for their outreach and their support of every individual and situation. Collectively, we all have to ensure Chabad’s success now and in the future.”

The annual dinner starts at 6:13 p.m. and will be held at the Chabad of West Orange, 401 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange. Jewish recording artist, singer and songwriter, Tali Yess, will perform live. The couvert is $180.

“We look forward to greeting you at the dinner,” said Altie Kasowitz, co-director of Chabad West Orange, who is expecting a great turnout. “Our mission is to spiritually, emotionally and in every way we can, enhance the lives of those who we meet through our classes and services, Smile On Seniors program, food distribution, hospital and prison chaplaincy, life-cycle assistance and more.”

Kasowitz continued, “The Annual Dinner gives us a moment to reflect on this year’s accomplishments and to celebrate those who help make it all happen as well as look ahead to increasing and expanding our activities going forward. We are proud but not satisfied. There is so much more work that needs to be done. But we cannot do it alone. We do it with your support making you a partner in our holy work.”

To make reservations for the dinner, please visit www.chabadwestorange.com/dinner  or call 973-325-6311.

Chabad of West Orange is affiliated with Lubavitch of Essex County and Rabbinical College of America.