(EJNews) – December was a stellar month of celebration for ChaBad Lubavitch of Edmonton as they celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary as part of the Jewish Community of Edmonton.
The celebration kicked off at the Fantasyland Hotel on December 20 as community members enjoyed a gala evening event to toast Rabbi Ari Drelich and Rebbetzin Rifka and their exemplary achievements in Edmonton. The food was wonderful and the ambiance was freolich.
Rabbi Ari shared stories about his arrival in Edmonton and expressed his appreciation to many members of the community for welcoming him and the ChaBad movement into our city. His anecdotes were warm and funny and truly demonstrated the love he has felt in his adopted home.
Several members of the community also took to the podium to speak about the wonderful contributions that Rabbi Ari has made to their lives and their families as well as the community as a whole. Speakers included Howard Goldford, Sam Marcushamer and Rabbi Daniel Friedman – each warmly reflecting on their fond interactions with Rabbi Ari.
The celebration continued on December 27, 2016 as the community gathered at the Alberta Legislature grounds on the fourth night of Chanukah to light the giant Menorah. The event was once again hosted by Chabad Lubavitch of Edmonton and the Jewish Federation of Edmonton and has been a highlight of annual community celebrations for the twenty-five years since Rabbi Ari arrived.
Rabbi Ari and Rebbetzin Rifka were joined by Jewish Federation of Edmonton Vice President Shane Asbell as well as MLA Lorne Dach and MP Kelly McCauley in addressing the crowd and wishing everyone in attendance a very happy Chanukah celebration.
Rabbi Ari spoke about the meaning the Chanukah and he also reminisced about the first Giant Menorah lighting in Edmonton and what it was like to arrange a celebration on the legislature grounds at that time and in the years since. He thanked Norm Schayer for constructing the giant menorah that is still in use today. He also thanked the Jewish Federation of Edmonton for working with him in this and many other Chabad and community endeavours. He gave special mention to the Pinsons and the Blechmans and thanked them for all their efforts at ChaBad.
The event was emceed by Global TV’s Mike Sobel and entertainment was provided by pianist Paul Polushin.
After the candles were lit by Rabbi Ari, Shane Asbell and Kelly McCauley the crowd returned inside for holiday treats and fun family activities.