By Risa Mond, Plano Texas Summer; a time for people…
As the Brooklyn Nets gear up for their second season in their new home, a borough that is also home to the most Jews in the country, CTeen, Chabad’s global Teen Network, has planned an exciting Jewish Heritage Night, boasting fun for the whole family.
The Jewish Heritage Night will be a historic event, bringing together thousands of people from all over the tri-state, to unite for a special Chanukah evening at the Barclays Center. Highlights of the program include a prime time menorah lighting, a halftime performance by the world-renowned Maccabeats, and a National Anthem performance by Hasidic superstar, Benny Friedman. Teens from CTeen’s 34 tri-state chapters will be awarded privileges including ball delivery, pre-game national anthem buddies, and halftime slap shots.
David Futoran, a 16-year-old teen from Long Island, sees the tremendous opportunity inherent in the event. “The basketball game provides a great way for Jews to make it known that they ARE NOT embarrassed of who they are and that their presence is still existent and STRONG. Modern values are just that; modern. They come and go with time. Jews, however, have been around since the beginning of time and are here to stay. It means a lot to me and my friends to be able to go to an NBA game and portray, ‘I am a Jew and I am proud.’ Making such a statement is the only way to expand our acceptance. This basketball game is an opportunity; an opportunity to embrace Judaism and to look the public in the eye and say, ‘Judaism is where it’s at.’”
“This event puts the recent Pew studies on the bookshelves and boldly demonstrates that like the Chanukah candles, the miracle of our people will keep on burning with the fire of the youth,” says the vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch and chairman of CTeen, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky.
Jacob Klee from Roslyn Heights, Long Island is really looking forward to this unique experience. “Watching the Nets play on Chanukah — my friends and I will have a lot of fun experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” he tells us.
“Of course everyone is excited for the Nets game — because well, it’s a basketball game with the Maccabeats — could it get any better?!” exclaims 15 year old HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/gabrielle.sharbin” Gabrielle Sharbin, a CTeen leader from Fairfield, CT. “We’re also ecstatic because that stadium will be filled with hundreds of teens who share the same beliefs as us, celebrate the same holidays, and chant the same prayers, all in one place, and all of us exuding immense pride for our Jewish identity.”
CTeen’s director Rabbi Shimon Rivkin explains how a combination of big sports and big Judaism is a win-win for the thousands of tri-state teens involved in CTeen. “Living as a minority in a very secular lifestyle, Jewish pride is a big struggle for our teens,” says Rivkin. “Lighting a Menorah at the tri-state’s most up-and-coming arena says Jewish Pride louder than any other Menorah lighting could.”
To purchase tickets or to sponsor the event, visit www.BarclaysJewishHeritage.com, or call; 718-467-4400 x340.