Monday, July 31, 2006

Rabbis Bring Timeless Message Into 21st Century With Chabad 'To Life' Telethon

Monday July 31, 8:27 am ET

LOS ANGELES, July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- After setting viewing and donation records for 25 years, Chabad is reaching out to a newer, broader audience with its 26th annual Telethon. Broadcasting live from Hollywood on September 10 from 4:00-10:00pm PDT, the revitalized Chabad "To Life" Telethon will air on TV across America and online around the world.

"We're embracing new technologies and new supporters to spread our message of helping others with goodness and kindness," said Rabbi Boruch S. Cunin, Director of West Coast Chabad-Lubavitch. "The audience will see a contemporary, polished program that inspires them to aid those in need."

Chabad, a nonprofit organization, runs the largest network of educational and nonsectarian social services under Jewish auspices on the West Coast.

The Telethon has seen dramatic changes lately -- new music, set, logo, channels -- yet still honors its own great tradition. In the past it hosted legends like Milton Berle, Bob Hope and Bob Dylan, and now boasts appearances by President Bush, Magic Johnson, Adam Sandler and Matisyahu. This year's hosts are Shelley Berman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and co-host, comedian Elon Gold.

A catalyst for much of the change is producer Michael Levin, who, along with producer Chaim Cunin, brings years of production experience to the rich Telethon tradition.

"Chabad's message of caring has a universal appeal that speaks to everyone," said Levin. "My goal is to create an entertaining show that makes more people aware of the range of Chabad's charitable activities."

Another contemporary twist is the Telethon's online simulcast on Viewers can now watch the show anywhere with Internet access -- and video clips have become viral favorites that travel the globe through emails, sharing and website postings.

Chabad's nonsectarian programs assist the needy regardless of background or belief. They include a Drug Treatment Center, holiday meals for the homeless, The Friendship Circle for special needs children, and numerous youth and education programs. Last year, President Bush praised Chabad's emergency relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The Telethon, which is picked up on cable across the U.S. and Canada, can be seen on and the following broadcast stations:

Los Angeles: KCAL 9
S. Diego: KUSI 9
S. Francisco: KTSF 26
Las Vegas: KVMY 12
New York/New Jersey/Connecticut: WLNY 55

Source: Chabad

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