Image by Michael Milverton





Gala Banquet and Concert Under the Stars


Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | Sivan 15, 5781 | 6:30 PM

Outdoors at Calabasas High School

22855 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas






Reply requested by May 11, 2021

Chabad of Calabasas is a recognized 501(c)(3) 
non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.



Benny Friedman - In Concert

Benny Friedman was the cantor at the first High Holiday services of Chabad of Calabasas 18 years ago and has performed at every one of our fundraising dinners since then. After enduring a complete loss of work at the outset of COVID followed by a withering bout of the virus itself, Benny bounced back, thank G-d, to release two inspirational albums and singles during the pandemic. Benny lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Chanale and their four children.





Rabbi Eli Friedman

Dear Friends,

The world suddenly went silent –

All frantic movement relaxed –

It grew so quiet that we could hear our souls thinking –

What was it thinking?

“Who can I help?”

Without being able to get together, the community came together like never before.

The sense of urgency in looking out for one another was palpable and the service to others went to the next level.

Chabad of Calabasas became a hub for contact, a connection point for people to stay in touch. We searched for ways to help in the best way and make sure no one fell through the cracks of isolation. Here is a sampling of some of the Mitzvot done at Chabad of Calabasas during the pandemic.


1. Virtual Programs

Since March 2020, Chabad has provided no less than 200 live, virtual programs. They varied between prayer sessions, personal story-telling, positive thinking workshops, cantorial concerts, Torah classes, Hebrew School for kids which continued through the summer, and interviews with inspiring personalities. These programs—which were open to the public with no membership required and no cost to join—were attended by hundreds of people and were the optimal remedy for the terrible loneliness and isolation brought on by COVID.

2. Safe In-Person Services

Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, Chabad was able to cover the patio with a top-quality party tent, complete with chandeliers and heaters, providing safety and serenity for those who wanted to return. The joy and relief of having the Shul open in time for the High Holidays is simply impossible to describe. The tent was big enough for Shabbat and holidays but not for Yom Kippur. So we rented a 3,200 square foot tent and held services in the local high school parking lot. Again, it was an emotional high for the hundreds who came, with no tickets or membership required. For Simchat Torah and again for Purim, we rented the football field at the High School and celebrated in truly unique and memorable ways with a grateful public.

3. Giveaways

Chabad held three drive-thru giveaways. In July, we invited the community—regardless of affiliation, membership or religion, to drive by Chabad of Calabasas and receive a five-pack of washable, reusable fabric masks. In December, we invited the community to drive by and pick up a Chanukah care package, including jelly doughnuts, Chanukah gelt and toys for kids, and Menorahs. In February we invited people to come pick up Purim care packages for kids, including Hamantaschen, graggers, and Purim toys. We received tremendous feedback from these free programs.

4. Financial Assistance

Although financial assistance is not Chabad's specialty, during these unusual times we have tried to see where we can be helpful, and several times since May, we were able to help people going through financial crisis. These payments, which amounted to approximately $10,000, were for holiday provisions and housing assistance.

The above is a partial view of what Chabad of Calabasas has done, and meant, for Jewish families, seniors and individuals. We are proud and grateful to have been a source of friendship, hope and optimism through difficult times.

In the last few weeks, as the cases in LA County plummeted and vaccinations sky-rocketed, thank G-d, one thought possesed us: we have to get everyone together (and we have to raise some money.) Venues everywhere refused us or imposed unaffordable buyouts. Despite the costly prospect of transforming a parking lot into a glamorous event space, we decided to move ahead with it, and hold it at Calabasas High School.


It is our hope and prayer that this will be a very happy evening of unity and friendship and a chance to make up for lost time, in the warm and safe company of dear friends. And since it's our 18th year, it's perfect: a celebration of life! See you at The Calabasas Chai Event - the gala under the stars!


Rabbi Eli Friedman
Chabad of Calabasas