Written by Joe Rizza Friday, 04 December 2009 00:00
Rabbi Anchelle Perl, director of the Chabad of Mineola, is all set for the holiday season. For Rabbi Perl, the holiday season means the annual Chanukah telethon that raises money for charitable programs offered by the Chabad of Mineola.
The 17th Annual Chanukah telethon will air on Sunday, Dec. 13 from 7 to 11 p.m. on WLNY-TV 10/55 and Rabbi Perl is hoping this year’s event, which will feature a Kosher Latke-eating contest, as well as a live wedding, will bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars to be contributed to various charitable programs.
During this holiday season, when times can be difficult for many, Rabbi Perl said this year’s telethon is of monumental importance. “We have received, in the last year, calls for help from all walks of life and for many bad situations. The importance of the community support this year is just so paramount. It’s just so heartbreaking how many calls we have received for help,” said Rabbi Perl, an active member of the religious community. “Not only are we reaching out to people to welcome their support, we also want to leave a message of hope to those who are watching.”
This year’s telethon will feature Latkes for Life, a Latke-eating contest involving eight contestants who will have three minutes to eat as many Latkes as they can. “Even as we are able to enjoy and eat as much as we want and have a contest over this food, at the end of the day, there are many out there who don’t. Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy food and have enough food and not have to worry,” said Rabbi Perl.
The Rabbi will also be officiating a live Jewish Chupa Wedding ceremony for a couple that comes from the former Soviet Union and now reside in Mineola. “He is associated with Winthrop Hospital and they frequented our synagogue and it turned out they’re not married yet, according to Jewish law. They are excited and they were gracious enough to allow us to broadcast this,” said Rabbi Perl.
Among the programs the Chanukah Telethon will be supporting are Good Deed Awards for Teenagers, Drug and AIDS Prevention Outreach, Toys for Hospitalized Children, Hospital Visitation to the Lonely, Children’s Matzah Factory, Bar/Bat Mitzvah for the Unaffiliated.
In this holiday season, when some people get down while others suffer from more serious bouts of depression, Rabbi Perl has some advice. He says it’s all about looking at what is really important such as health, a home and food. “We should show our appreciation and if we manage to have a little more than someone else then that’s a trust from God that we have to be in a position to help someone else. It doesn’t mean we’re smarter or somehow superior; on the contrary; each of us are given the bigger responsibility of having empathy for others. It’s a celebrating of life, of hope and it’s a celebration where all of us can come together in unity and uplift the community to continue the miracle of light that Chanukah represents,” said Rabbi Perl.
For more on the Chanukah Telethon and programs it will be supporting, visit www.chanukahtelethon.com.