The Lubavitch Chabad organization has changed the date of its annual fund-raising telethon from just before Rosh Hashanah to the seventh night of Chanukah, to honor the memory of the late Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
The telethon, called “L’Chaim-To Life!.” will air on the cable television Dec. 3 for six hours beginning 7 p.m. Pacific time.
“Chanukah was the rebbe’s favorite (holiday),” said Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, executive director of the telethon, which airs from Los Angeles.
The rebbe was “the one who took Chanukah public to the masses in massive menorah lightings,” said Cunin, the West Coast director of Chabad. “The whole existence of the rebbe was dedicated to using a little bit of light to push away a multitude of darkness.”
The exuberant fund-raiser, chaired by Hollywood producer Jerry Weintranub and always attended by well-known Hollywood figures, has been running for 14 years.
The money raised is used for Chabad’s national drug rehabilitation center in Los Angeles and Chabad’s Project Pride, a drug-prevention program operating from 30 centers a cross the country, Cunin said. It also funds Chabad’s programs for mental health, homelessness, senior citizens, schools and new immigrants.
The telethon is carried on 80 cable systems throughout the country.