Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The 36th annual South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival, which took place at Gulfstrean Park in Hallandale, received its own Chanukah miracle this year. Despite an ominous weather report of a 100 percent chance of rain, the skies remained dry, without even a drizzle.

A gathering of state and local government dignitaries and officials attended the event. Rabbi Abraham Korf, head shliach of Florida, was honored with the lighting of the first candle. Rabbi Yossi Lebovics, principal of Chaya Aydel Seminary, led in the singing the blessings and Maoz Tzur.


“The King of Jewish Music,” Avraham Fried, gave a marvelous performance. He was accompanied by rising stars Dovid Gabay and Shuki Sudan. Many thousands were in attendance. Hundreds danced the night away, as Gulfstream came alive with the sound of chassidic music.

All children received Chanukah packages that included a real dollar, chocolate coins, and other Chanukah goodies.

The city of Hallandale Beach and the sheriff’s office had scores of police and undercover officers on hand to provide security.

The message of Hakhel, the year of gathering, was highlighted throughout the festival, through the lights of the menorah. Ultimately, light, goodness, and peace will defeat tyranny, terrorism, and darkness.

The Broward County Commission and the cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood issued proclamations “to increase in acts of goodness and kindness for 114 days to hasten the coming of Moshiach, Now!” The 114 days, as noted in the proclamations, are from the Chag HaGeulah 20 Kislev until the holiday of Purim.

Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus, director of Chabad of South Broward, thanked all who helped and attended the event. “The inspiration at our Chanukah Festival has led to endless new mitzvahs performed by those who have attended,” he said. “Many have been inspired to light menorahs at home. Parents have been inspired by this powerful Jewish evening to have their children enrolled in Hebrew schools and day schools. We even had someone who had never circumcised his son but was so inspired by our Chanukah Festival that he arranged for the son to have a bris milah.”

The entire festival can be seen on

For more information about Chabad of South Broward, call 954-458-1877.


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Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.