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Friday, April 03, 2009

Florida Energy Magnate Guma Aguiar Provides Major Funding for Chabad's Passover Seders Worldwide

DESPITE ECONOMY, CHABAD SAYS NO CUTBACKS IN HOLIDAY OUTREACH

BROOKLYN, N.Y., April 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- (lubavitch.com) Some 570 rabbinical students will be leaving Sunday, April 5, to any of 285 locations worldwide where they will conduct communal seders this Passover, April 8 and 9th. New on the list of exotic locations slated for Chabad's seders is Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

At Lubavitch World Headquarters, itineraries for the rabbinical students are being coordinated with regional Chabad representatives, reflecting numbers that surpass last year's.

The comprehensive list of locations means that Jews--even those in remote points of Vietnam, China, Chile, Japan, Ukraine, Russia, Peru and Spain, as well as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, among many other locations in Africa, South America, Europe and North America--will have the benefit of a traditional Passover seder with Chabad.

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos, the Chabad-Lubavitch educational division, says that despite the dire economic climate, "The Rebbe insisted that every Jew be given the opportunity to participate at a Seder, and we will do everything possible to make sure that happens on the largest scale yet."

Funding for the seders comes from several philanthropists including Mr. George Rohr, a long time supporter of Chabad activities, and a gift of $500,000 from Florida energy magnate, Guma Aguiar. This is the second consecutive year that Aguiar, 31, has been a major sponsor of Chabad's global Passover campaign.

Aguiar became excited about this project last year and contributed towards Chabad's worldwide Passover seders--collectively, the largest seder in the world. As a result, he said, "Chabad leaders and I have realized what a truly sacred honor it is to partner together with each other on this project."

With seders hosting anywhere from 20-2000 (Nepal), accurate figures for the total number of participants at Chabad seders are hard to come by, but upwards of 500,000 people would be a safe estimate, say coordinators.

Conducting seders in some of the backwaters of the Far East and Africa involves often complicated logistics and requires the cooperation of local authorities. Getting vast quantities of matzah, wine, meat and other Passover staples, entails considerable preliminary work to ensure timely deliveries.

These seders are in addition to those hosted by Chabad representatives in their respective communities worldwide.

To search for the Chabad-Lubavitch center closest to you, click here (http://www.lubavitch.com/centers/)


SOURCE Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters

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