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Thousands Descend on Chabad House for Annual Carnival

Thousands Descend on Chabad House for Annual Carnival

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Jews from all walks of life can have a kosher meal at pretty much any time of the day at Chabad-Lubavitch of Salvador, Brazil.
Jews from all walks of life can have a kosher meal at pretty much any time of the day at Chabad-Lubavitch of Salvador, Brazil.

A record number of Jewish tourists have reportedly stopped in Salvador, Brazil, for this year's Carnival. The city's weeklong festival – perhaps a bit less famous than the one farther down the coast in Rio de Janeiro, but nevertheless recognized as the world's largest – annually attracts more than 2 million tourists; this year, thousands of Jews from Israel and other locations have joined the festivities, according to Chabad-Lubavitch of Salvador.

One of those who stopped by this week was Chanan Dahan, 47, of Haifa, Israel, who came to Salvador to visit his son who has been backpacking around the country since his discharge from the Israel Defense Force. Dahan looked up the Chabad House on the Internet, and decided to visit and try its kosher food.

"We try to keep kosher," he said, "and there is an amazing kosher restaurant there with fantastic food."

Rivky Bukiet, co-director with her husband, Rabbi Yisroel Bukiet, of the Chabad House, said that they set up the restaurant every year for this season. It serves an average of 250 each day.

"We have a great cook who makes delicious Brazilian food that is very, very cheap for the customers," said Bukiet, noting that the meat is imported from a kosher slaughterhouse in S. Paulo, Brazil .

Dahan said that he feels at home at the Chabad House, which he visits every day and avails himself of its free Internet access. He added that its library, classes and conversations with the rabbi "give me an answer to everything."

Jewish women visiting Chabad-Lubavitch of Salvador, Brazil, light Shabbat candles prior to Friday night services and a grand banquet during the week of Carnival.
Jewish women visiting Chabad-Lubavitch of Salvador, Brazil, light Shabbat candles prior to Friday night services and a grand banquet during the week of Carnival.
This past Friday night, 50 women lit Shabbat candles at the Chabad House before some 500 people crammed its synagogue and courtyard for Shabbat evening services. The dinner that night was equally packed, considering that the location typically caters to a local community that numbers no more than 300 people.

But the Bukiets, who came to Salvador two years ago to open the Chabad House, knew what to expect after witnessing the throngs pour in during Carnival 2007.

Since the large dining hall only seats 200, and the synagogue just 150, they cleared out the Internet room to fit another 100 people. More than 50 visitors ate at tables set up in the courtyard. The rabbi and two rabbinical students from Israel each led a separate meal.

Mendy Perush, 22, of Jerusalem, who led the meal in the synagogue, described the whole experience as "extraordinary."

"We sang Jewish songs," he said, "The happiness was great."

"Jews from every extreme, from all over, came together," said Dahan. "I felt a belonging to Judaism, that we are something unique and special.

"For me, the Bukiets have found a warm corner of my heart," he added. "I really appreciate them. They are doing holy work."



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Anonymous Salvador February 7, 2017

THANK YOU I read this and became very happy knowing that this is my rabbi and he has a bet chabad in my city.
I am not religous but I come to the bet chabad on shabbat and sometimes on monday for prayers.
I thank the work a lot.
(My english is not so good)
Thanks again Reply

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