8th Day Sings With Chabad for The Children at CBS

8th Day Sings With Chabad for The Children at CBS

by N. Margolis - Studio City, CA

November 6, 2007

Some 350 people from Studio City and its neighboring areas showed up Sunday evening at the CBS Studio Center for a Chabad sponsored Community Concert featuring the dynamic music of the 8th Day.

The concert’s proceeds directly benefited the Friendship Circle program of Studio City.

The 8th Day performed a few numbers from their recently released album “Brooklyn” against the backdrop of an authentic replica of a New York City street, replete with brownstone buildings, storefront facades and the ubiquitous potholes.

Under the able direction of Rabbi Yossi and Chanie Baitelman, Chabad of Studio City is one of the hundreds of cities across North America operating the extraordinarily successful Friendship Circle.

More than 8,000 teenagers nationwide are paired with special needs children, giving them the opportunity to socialize, play and learn. While all go under the banner name Friendship Circle, each program is independently run by local Chabad houses and supported by the community.

“The Baitelman’s are doing fabulous work,” said Mr. Rick Schuller, Esq., congregant and proud supporter of Chabad of Studio City.

“Friendship Circle brings hope and joy to the underprivileged by providing funds, materials and manpower for something like the Sunday Circle Program with  music, sports and crafts, and give these children a more fulfilling life.”

The 8th Day’s music is as unique and colorful as the band itself--three rabbis, brothers all, an advertising executive, and a professional heavy metal rocker.

“Little four year old kids and seniors were tapping their feet to the music. It’s a big compliment when there’s that broad a range,” said Schuller. “The concert was a big success and very well executed.”

A cantorial presentation by Shmuel Rimler included a few nostalgic Yiddish and Hebrew numbers. But the funky Chasidic cantor got the crowd rolling with a rousing rendition of “Tumbalalaika” and “G-d Bless America”.

One song was dedicated to the teenage volunteers who visit weekly with a special needs child, giving them the opportunity to socialize, play and learn, and simply become the friend that these children yearn for.

The innovative programming and tireless care for the special needs population, typifies the philosophy of Chabad.

“We are not here just to reach out to people spiritually,” said Rabbi Baitelman, “but to also reach out physically to children with special needs and assist their families.”

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