Inspiration From Around the World

Another Fabulous Friday Night brought a joyous celebration of Shabbat to LifeTown on May 12, with Friendship Circle families, friends, and a group from JSDD and JESPY. 

The food was plentiful and the conversation engaging. Cantor Shmuly Lieberman led the Friday evening prayers, and children made a beeline for the playground. As the Shabbat spirit settled over the room, Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz spoke, entertaining with fascinating stories from his travels around the world.

A well-known Chabad leader, Rabbi Berkowitz is a former executive director of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Former Soviet Union and spent 10 years in Russia. Now a director at Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters in Brooklyn, and co-leader of the Global Chabad Development Fund, he is unofficially Chabad’s storyteller of true tales of divine providence around the world.

He has wandered Alaska helping Jews and non-Jews find their way, helped found a yeshiva in Uruguay, raised money for Jewish causes in Argentina, and headed to India to help rebuild the Jewish center in Mumbai destroyed in a terrorist attack. He was part of a delegation that met with the Nepalese Prime Minister in 2014. He attends Davos every year, but also visits slums to understand the ways people live in the world.

His tales Friday night took us from the Alaskan Tundra to Monte Carlo to the halls of the United Nations and by the end of the evening we all felt we’d traveled awhile in a distant land with him.

“The Friendship Circle Shabbat community dinners are amazing,” said Mila Gubenko, who attended with her husband and four children, ages six to eleven. “It’s such a warm, inviting atmosphere. It’s also such a great space. The kids can be having fun playing while you enjoy dinner and a lecture.”

The next Fabulous Friday night is coming in the fall. You won’t want to miss it!

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