Lag B’Omer Concert Unites the Greater Los Angeles Jewish Community


Lag B’Omer Concert Unites the Greater Los Angeles Jewish Community

Yehudis Litvak

The Lag B’Omer Unity Concert last week, hosted by the West Coast Chabad Lubavitch and Kol Yaakov Yehuda Junior Congregation and produced by Rabbi Yossi Burston, brought together 2000 children and their parents and teachers at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills. The spirit of Jewish unity filled the hall as Mordechai Shapiro, a popular singer from New York, performed the audience’s favorite songs, drawing them into dancing, clapping, and singing along. About a dozen schools and organizations throughout the Greater Los Angeles participated in the concert.

Rabbi Mayer Greene of Chabad of Tarzana was the MC of the event. Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, director of West Coast Chabad Lubavitch, spoke about the special light of Lag B’Omer. Rabbi Tzemach Cunin, director of Chabad of Century City, led the participants in recitation of tehillim. Rabbi Mendel Duchman, director of Kol Yaakov Yehuda, called on representatives of different schools and organizations to recite the Twelve Pessukim. In addition, two three-year-old boys received the first snips of their haircuts right on the stage, cheered on by the enthusiastic audience.

The theme of unity permeated the event. Different schools and homeschooling groups were warmly welcomed by both the MC and by Mordechai Shapiro, who expressed his appreciation and admiration for the achdus taking place in the concert hall. “We are all different, but at the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters,” he said, introducing the song “B’yachad.”

The unity was further enhanced by the surprise appearance of Bentzi Marcus of the Eighth Day band, who performed the song “Shine a Little Light,” composed by Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, an ALS patient who was also in attendance. Bentzi Marcus also spoke about the innermost teaching of the Torah revealed by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai on Lag B’Omer that served as a foundation of Chassidic teachings. He sang several Chassidic niggunim with the audience.

During the second half of the concert, jugglers, and a unicycle rider joined Mordechai Shapiro on stage, delighting the audience with their skills. Many children had the opportunity to greet Mordechai Shapiro with a high five—some even went up onto the stage and sang together with him.