Developers of Zoom Video Communications are working to assist a global program marking the yahrzteit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, this Wednesday, the third of Tammuz.
The restrictions on travel, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, make visiting the Rebbe’s Ohel on the yahrtzeit this year impossible. Instead, an estimated 50,000 users will be marking the yartzeit by joining the global “Barcheinu Avinu” broadcast coordinated by the Vaad Or Vechom Hiskashrus, an organization dedicated to providing Chassidic inspiration and educational programming to Chabad-Lubavitch communities, this Wednesday, June 24, at 2:30 PM EST.
Working with the organizers on facilitating the broadcast is the Arnen production company which is managing the technical and technological aspects of the event.
The interactive event—a first of it’s kind—will be led by noteworthy individuals including rabbis and emissaries, along with Chabad niggunim led by cantor Berel Zucker and the Rabin Brothers a cappella group.
Producer Ronen Peled said his team is working hand-in-hand with experts of Zoom’s Professional Services who are responsible for collaborative productions of Zoom with live events.
“This will be the world’s largest interactive Zoom event,” Peled said, explaining that each community logging on from North America, South America, Europe, Israel and South Africa will be hosting a Zoom room. Thousands of participants will be joining each room and then that room will be connected to the global broadcast.
The event will also include a special tribute to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, greetings from communities throughout the world, and will be addressed by various community activists.
“The staff at Zoom told us that they’ve never had a single event with so many virtual rooms connected in the same broadcast,” he said. “Until now, their platform had a cap of 1,000 people in a single room, or a webinar with 300 cameras, but the rest are passive viewers who aren’t seen.”
Organizers said that despite the large number of participants, they wanted the broadcast to feel like a warm Chassidic farbrengen (get-together). “Everyone will be able to see participants from around the world and be visible to other participants around the world,” they said.
One of the highlights of the program will be a live feed of prayer at the Rebbe’s Ohel.