Nov 22, 2012
Bakersfield Chabad Celebrates 10

Chabad of Bakersfield, directed by Shluchim Shmuli and Esther Malka Schlanger, marked its 10-year anniversary Sunday with a lively celebration that included the completion of a new Torah.

Bakersfield Californian

Chabad of Bakersfield marked its 10-year anniversary Sunday with a lively celebration that included the completion of a new Torah scroll.

There were serious moments of prayer and recitations, and somber mention was made of the ongoing conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip, but Sunday's event dwelt mainly on thanks for Chabad's establishment and growth in a place not often associated with a thriving Jewish community.

The new scroll, handwritten and valued at tens of thousands of dollars, features the five books of Moses. It was donated by the Cohen and Setton families, who joined Chabad of Bakersfield within the past year or so after moving from New York.

"It was hard coming to a place without many Jewish people," Mia Cohen announced on behalf of the family. "Thank you for making us a part of your family."

Jewish music played and children scampered around a room inside the Bakersfield Museum of Art as Rabbi Shmuli Schlanger led his congregation in an expression of renewed commitment to spiritual learning and Jewish tradition.

His sometimes whimsical spirit came through in a video played for the audience of more than 100, some of whom had traveled from as far away as Monterey, Fresno and Long Beach.

The video featured scenes of Schlanger strumming a guitar and singing revised lyrics to the song "Streets of Bakersfield" in Bakersfield areas such as the Kern River, a citrus field, the downtown transit center and the iconic Bakersfield sign.

Abba Perelmuter, a rabbi who traveled from Long Beach to help mark the occasion, told sometimes humorous stories and thanked Schlanger and his wife, Esther, for their commitment to the Bakersfield Jewish community.

"It only happens because people set aside their egos," Perelmuter said of Chabad's work in Bakersfield. "It only happens because people set aside their own needs."

Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall joined the celebration with a brief presentation thanking the Schlangers "for what you do for the community each day."

Chabad of Bakersfield attendee Joy Spicer said many members of the Jewish community aspire to be able to donate an item of such value and historical significance.

"A word hasn't changed since God gave it to Moses for us," she said.

"This is just like stepping back to the days of old," Spicer added, saying the Torah represents a continuous thread "from Mount Sinai right here to Bakersfield."

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Opinions and Comments
From a midbar shmomo to a be'er mayim chayim... Kol hakavod schlangers, the rebbe is truly with you..
(11/22/2012 11:34:02 AM)
the musician
wheres yoey?? the greatest musician! :)
(11/22/2012 11:56:55 AM)
proud cousins in manchester!!
wishing shmuli and esther malka continuous hatzlocha in everything and you shld go from strength to strength!!!
(11/22/2012 12:08:30 PM)
Vogel's are proud
keep up your good work Shmuli and co.
(11/22/2012 12:38:09 PM)
Sir Birsky
Loved the video too...
Mechayil el choyil.
See you at M&S Brent Cross soon.
(11/22/2012 12:54:14 PM)
Was that?
Yoni Edelkopf??
(11/22/2012 1:26:32 PM)
Keep up the great work Shmuli and Esther Malka!! Wishing you lots of Hatzlocha in all your future endeavors!!!!
Love the Drizins
(11/22/2012 2:56:04 PM)
Your proud sister!
Shmuli and Esther M. you are incredible shluchim!! Love all the pictures. It is amazing what you accomplished in Bakersfield. We miss you and love you!
(11/22/2012 3:15:35 PM)
i had the pleasure of visiting these amazing shluchim on my business travels! it's an oasis in the califonia desert. mazel tov on 10 years and on the beautiful new torah!
(11/22/2012 3:15:52 PM)
another proud sis
U guys are incredible. Hashem should shower u and ur children with brochos, brochos and brochos. U make us proud, we love u guys! Come back to ottawa sooonn:)
(11/22/2012 4:46:04 PM)
Em , Shmuli and children
You make us proud !!!!!! Looks like an amazing event ! May you go mechoyil el choyil and be showered with brochos !!!
The rebbe is with you every step if the way !!!!!
Mendel and Tzippy
(11/22/2012 5:22:12 PM)
what amazing People, Shluchim, and role models. Go Schlangers!
(11/22/2012 5:43:13 PM)
Mazal tov
Shmuly and Esther Malka,
Mazal tov!!!!!!!!
Continued success.
Cohens, CH
(11/22/2012 6:33:35 PM)
Shmuly was an amazing pre1A teacher!! My shimi started his love of torah because he showed him how... We were sooo lucky to have you teach our son.
Much of hatzlochoh, Zvi & Dini Russell
(11/22/2012 6:38:42 PM)
Lol hakavod Shmuli! Keep it up!

You're always an inspiration!

(11/22/2012 7:46:12 PM)
wow, what amazing pieces from Muchnik!!
(11/22/2012 8:04:38 PM)
Mazal tov!!!
So amazing Shmuli and EM!!! Wishing you much continued hatzlacha!!
Levi and Chanale
(11/22/2012 8:13:58 PM)
amazing achievement!!!

from uncle Ue & Shaindel from
(11/22/2012 8:58:28 PM)
uncle n
my favourite nephew
(11/23/2012 2:45:00 AM)
congrats to the Shlangers!
Hello Black family!!

(11/26/2012 12:39:07 PM)
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