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Latke eating contest on telethon

The upcoming Chanukah Telethon will have plenty to see as it raises money – runs a Kosher Latke eating contest and broadcasts a live wedding gala.

This marks the 17th year of the annual telethon, which will air this year from 7 to 11 p.m. on Sunday, December 13 on WLNY-TV.

“Chanukah is a festival of miracle and, during these difficult and challenging economic times, we wanted to share this uplifting moment, to bring hope, happiness and joy to the widest community,” said Rabbi Anchelle Perl, a co-host of the telethon who is the Director of the Chabad of Mineola.

This year, Perl’s goal is to raise $500,000. The money will be used to expand the Chabad’s charitable programs. Among them are Good Deed Awards for Teenagers; drugs and Aids prevention outreach; toys for hospitalized children; hospital visitations for lonely patients; Children’s Matzah Factory; and Bar/Bat Mitzvah for those who are not affiliated, among other programs.

For the first time in the telethon’s history, there will be the International Kosher Latke Eating Contest. The contest’s eight contestants will have to eat as many latkes as they can in three minutes. There will be monetary prices for first, second and third places and gifts for the other participants.

“I created the Kosher Latke Eating Contest to bring lightheartedness and joy into people’s lives that is part of this happy holiday,” said Perl, who will be cooking the latkes himself.

Another major part of the telethon will be a live remarriage ceremony for Mineola couple Tatyana and Alex Shalshin. The couple is originally from the Soviet Union and hopes that those who witness their remarriage will be inspired.

Entertain during the telethon will include Rocking DJ Mickey B, the Chassidic Dancing Rabbis and David Levitan, a juggler, comedian and mentalist. There will also be a free raffle, which can be entered by emailing your name, address and phone number to ChanukahTelethonRaffle@gmail.com.

In addition to being aired on WLNY TV 10/55, the Chanukah Telethon will have a live web cast on www.chanukahtelethon.com.

“Despite our hardship this year and having to deal with an anti-Semitic attack on our shul, we cannot allow cynicism and hatred to dampen our spirits,” Perl said. “Our goal is to continue helping those who need money due to foreclosures, bankruptcy, [and] job loss and further expand our charitable work. Parents of our Hebrew School children call us every day asking for help and moral support, and we want to be there for them.”

For more information about the telethon, contact Perl at 516-739-3636.

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