IfI you’re from Los Angeles, you know September is the time of year when the image of a dancing Hasid appears on streetlamp banners all over the Westside, reminding viewers that the single most successful Chabad outreach initiative (and fundraiser) ever invented is just around the corner: the annual To Life! Telethon. It’s just like the Jerry Lewis’s, but with more famous people—at some point or another, everyone who’s anyone in Hollywood has turned up to dance, sing, or just crack jokes, including Jon Voight, Bob Dylan, and the entire cast of Friends (that’s like two more famous people right there!).
This year, though, they’re trying something a little different. Yossi Cunin, the head of Chabad’s Beverly Hills outpost, plans to try for a Guinness World Record at this Sunday’s broadcast: the longest ever recorded Hasidic dance. To prepare, the 36-year-old has been training with Dave Honig, best known as the co-author of LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout. So far, Cunin hasn’t achieved the rap star’s chiseled physique, but he has lost about 100 pounds, partly by running up and down stairs at Dodger Stadium with weights strapped to his back. (We’re pretty sure that wasn’t in the book.) Cunin told the L.A. Jewish Journal that he’s expecting to dance nonstop for six hours, to demonstrate “joy in the extreme.” Maybe Honig can brand it as the Goin’ Back to Cali workout?
Chabad Rabbi Trains for Dance-a-thon [Jewish Journal]