120 orphans, including four boys who recently escaped war-torn Ukraine, celebrated their Bar Mitzvah at an annual ceremony organized by Collel Chabad, this year dedicated to the 120th birthday of the Rebbe.
A month after fleeing their war-torn hometown of Zhytomyr, Ukraine, Ukraine, four orphaned boys celebrated their Bar Mitzvah at an emotional event in Yerushalayim on Monday. They were part of an annual bar mitzvah ceremony for orphans organized by Colel Chabad in Israel, this year held on the 120th birthday of the Rebbe.
The celebration began at the Kosel, in the early morning. The 120 boys arrived together with their families, where they received a pair of Tefillin as a gift, prepared by Chesed Menachem Mendel, the educational division of Collel Chabad. After davening and joyous dancing, the group proceeded to the Jerusalem Convention Center at Binyanei Hauma where an elaborate dinner celebration was held.
The event was sponsored by Rabbi Eliyahu Schlossberg in memory of his father Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak, together with the Goldman family and the Meromim Foundation.
Rabbi Sholom Duchman, director of the Collel Chabad, opened the ceremony by greeting the guests. Rabbis, ministers and Knesset members addressed the crowd and singers Ishay Ribo and Yishai Lapidot provided musical entertainment.
Honored guests included the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, the Rishon LeZion Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, Rabbi of Tsfas Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi of Beer Sheva Rabbi Yehuda Deri.
Ministers and members of the Knesset who came to celebrate with the orphaned boys included: Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, MK Ofir Sofer – Religious Zionism, MK Eli Cohen – Likud, MK Dudi Amsalem – Likud, MK Bezalel Smutritz – Chairman of Religious Zionism, Minister of Absorption Pnina Tamano-Shata, MK Shlomo Karai – Likud, MK Gila Gamliel – Likud, Chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party Yevgeny Soba, MK Tzachi Hanegbi – Likud, MK Rabbi Michael Malkieli, MK Amir Ohana, MK Keren Barak, Chairman of the Finance Committee Alex Kushnir, MK Rabbi Yitzchak Pindros, MK Rabbi Meir Porush and MK Idit Silman.