latest photos!


Friday, January 2, 4:00 PM


No experience I’ve ever dealt with could have prepared us for the events that unfolded over this last week. We know that great challenges bring out an even greater inner strength and I think we were each witness to that on a very personal level following the accident at Chanukah Wonderland. In addition, this certainly brought our community closer than ever before – like a family, in every sense of the word!

Thank you all so very much for coming out to the Menorah Lightings to stand together as family in an expression of support and unity. My wife, Chanie and I are overwhelmed with gratitude to our community, truly appreciate the outpouring of encouragement and Chizzuk, and give a heartfelt yasher koach to all who volunteered to help our community get through this on all levels.

And as the stories of small miracles keep pouring in, we recognize the immense kindness of HaKodosh Baruch Hu and pray for His continuous compassion and blessings in healing those who are still in serious condition. Please continue to pray for a speedy recovery for all who were affected, physically – and emotionally as well.

In conclusion, for those who weren’t with us on Monday for the Chanukah Experience, words would not do justice to adequately capture and convey the incredible energy and feeling that permeated the room and all who participated. Seeing the children smiling again and being given the opportunity to return to joy and innocence was just so moving! The photos taken on that day speak more than any words I can write and have been posted on our website. As one extraordinary therapist shared with me, with all his years of experience, he never imagined that holding such an event following a traumatic situation would be so effectively therapeutic. Take a moment to view the pictures online: www.chabad5towns.com/album.

Best wishes for a happy, peaceful and restful Shabbos,

Rabbi Zalman Wolowik


updated December 29, 12:06 PM

The Shul is pleased to offer the following presentation and discussion regarding last Thursday’s traumatic accident at Chanukah Wonderland in Woodmere.

Time: Tuesday evening, December 30: 8:30-10:00 PM at the Shul

Topic: Coping with last Thursday’s traumatic event: Important information, knowing what to be concerned about, and returning to normal life

Presented by:
David Biderman, Ph.D.                                         
Senior Psychologist,                                                      Rusk Institute                                                             
Faculty, NYU Langone Medical Center and
Penina Zilberberg, Ph.D.
Private Practioner (Child Psychology)
Ronen Hizami MD PC

Open to adults who were directly or indirectly affected by last week’s crisis event and who would like to have more information on how to:        

A) cope with their own experiences, and/or;

B) help your child, who may be showing signs of distress, as a result of the traumatic event.

Interested members of the Shul are invited to attend, as are other members of the community that might find the evening’s presentation and discussion
helpful.  This presentation is being offered free of charge.

For questions regarding the presentation please email:
[email protected]


Monday, December 29, 12:00 - 6:00 PM

Chabad will be opening its doors to children of all ages tomorrow offering a day of Chanukah entertainment and activities. We encourage all families present on Thursday to return with their children for the exciting kids' program at Chabad, 74 Maple Avenue in Cedarhurst. We'll have special gifts for your children and the Chanukah activities will include entertainment, crafts, face painting, chanukah theater, music by Azamra DJ and Yaakov Zajac on the keyboard. Let's give the kids a great time, they deserve it!

1:00 Our very own Sholom Jacobs
3:00 Children's favorite, Shooby Doob Shloimy
5:00 Singer, Eli Gerstner

Thank you to the above entertainers for generously volunteering their services! Best wishes to all for a Happy Chanukah!

Looking forward to greeting you,

Rabbi Zalman & Chanie Wolowik
Rabbi Meir & Hadassah Geisinsky

All adults whose family members were present at the Chanukah Wonderland on Thursday afternoon, are invited to attend a guidance and informational session at Chabad tomorrow, Sunday, December 28 at 12:00 noon. A team of therapists will offer professional guidance for navigating the road ahead and will address the specific needs and questions for you and your children. A panel of counselors will discuss signs of trauma and what a parent should look out for and be prepared to address. The program will begin with a general session followed by one on-one-support. Supervision for children available. Therapists will also be available to speak with your child upon request.

MONDAY: There will be an exciting program for children during the day on Monday, December 29, 12:00 - 6:00 PM. Chanukah activities will include special entertainment, crafts, face painting and more. Details to follow shortly. Stay informed with up-to-the-minute information by checking our website: www.chabad5towns.com.

Saturday Night, 12/27 | 8:32 PM

Chabad has mobilized an effort to ensure that all families of the victims are taken care of.  We have volunteers coordinating and delivering meals for the next few weeks, bringing toys and gifts to all the children, offering rides to and from the hospitals, providing babysitting etc.  We’re doing everything we possibly can to ease the stress.  
We are missing point of contact for a couple of the families.  Please, if we haven’t gotten in touch with you, please let us know by emailing
[email protected]  or calling our 24-hour support line: 516-612-0650

In addition, if you or your children were spared injuries but were present at the time of the incident, we know you’re hurting.  We have many licensed therapists, trauma counselors and child psychologists ready to help you.  Please send a confidential email with your contact information to [email protected]  and you’ll receive an immediate response.  You may also call our 24-hour hotline:  516-612-0650

Friday, December 26 | 4:06 PM 
My Dear Friends,

I am overwhelmed with a whole host of emotions right now.  The last 24 hours have been challenging, responding to the emergency, dealing with the shock and pain and crying with those hurt physically and emotionally.  And while we prayed 'round the clock for miracles in our days, I personally found a glimmer of comfort in recognizing G‑d’s small miracles throughout and I held onto the Chizzuk gleaned from it.

I also want to say a very big, personal thank you to our entire giving, caring community of remarkable individuals.  I am so deeply touched by the volume of emails and calls from people reaching to lend their support. I am amazed by the continuous outpouring of assistance and wishes and I’m so proud to be a part of this wonderful community!

I know you’re all waiting to hear good news and I am happy to finally be able to share - Baruch Hashem!  At this time, all of the children have been released from local area hospitals.  Of course we continue to pray for the complete recovery of those injured, the parents who are hospitalized and the children who are still on the road to full recovery.  

In the words of one of the extraordinary hatzalah members on the scene “...The Mother assured me that her daughter was indeed run over. I could not believe how HEALTHY she looked! She did have what we assumed was a broken arm, but we could not find any signs or symptoms of any internal injuries, nor anything worse than the broken arm. Hashem was exquisitely kind to SO many victims yesterday, and the outcomes could have absolutely been much, much worse. Chasdei Hashem Yisborach!...”

So my dear friends, let’s join together and hold hands tomorrow night as we thank G‑d for the miracles we’ve witnessed and pray for continuous miracles here in our days, in our community.  It would be most meaningful to me if you’d join me in Cedarhurst Park tomorrow night and Sunday night, at 6 PM as we light the giant Menorah, which suddenly seems that much more significant!

In conclusion, I’d like to remind everyone that our 24-hour support line is still open and our wonderful volunteer counselors and therapists are standing by to help anyone affected by this incident: 516-612-0650 (closed Shabbos of course) or [email protected].  Don’t let your children go to sleep with questions – call us, we want to help you!   We also thank the numerous incredible volunteers who prepared meals today, delivered toys and gifts and went out of their way doing all they can to make the families comfortable and ensure their needs were well taken care of.  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!

May the light and miracles of Chanukah permeate our entire community and may we only share good tidings!

Shabbat Shalom and warmest wishes,

Rabbi Zalman Wolowik



Thursday, December 25, 2008
Kislev 28, 5769 | 9:52 PM, EST

Dear Friends,

Our hearts and prayers are with those who were injured in today's accident at the Chanukah Wonderland.

We appreciate and are comforted by the tremendous outpouring of support, and are also overwhelmed with requests for additional information.

At this time, all information points to this being an unfortunate incident, wherein a car accidentally crashed through the building housing our community's family Chanukah celebration.

Chabad of the Five Towns’ main priority at this time is to ensure that each of the injured individuals is cared for by medical personnel, and that they and their families are safe. We are doing whatever we possibly can for the families during this difficult time. We are also focusing on providing licensed counselors around the clock to anyone affected – directly or indirectly – by the accident.

We urge every person to keep the victims in your prayers, and we encourage everyone to undertake an additional Mitzvah in their merit.

Chabad of the Five Towns would like to extend our immense gratitude to the local police and fire departments, Hatzalah and other emergency medical personnel and volunteers who responded immediately to the accident, and assisted the victims.

As we are in the midst of celebrating the holiday of Chanukah, may we merit to celebrate the miraculous and speedy recovery of all who are injured.

Chabad of the Five Towns

Rabbi Zalman and Chanie Wolowik


Saturday Night, Dec. 27 | 9:27 PM
updated Saturday Night, Dec. 27, 11:58 PM
Sunday Night, Dec. 28 | 7:58 PM

* Refoel Yitzchak ben Fayga Basya Devora Hadassah
* Rivka bas Chana
* Yitzchok  Zev  Ben Masha Asha
* Daniel Moshe Ben Rivka
* Leah bat Brocha
* Yehudis bas Tova
* Yakira Breidel Bas Rochel
* Eitan Yochai Ben Shirah Yafah
* Shmuel ben Tova
* Yakov Tzvi ben Sara
For information on
retrieving your belongings, receiving counseling or
other assistance related to this incident, please e-mail:
[email protected] (dedicated & monitored 24 hours).

Participating Support
Agencies and Therapists

Feel free to call upon any of the below volunteers to assist with trauma or related issues

(646) 763-0627
Dr. Norman Blumenthal
 (516) 993-0430
Zahava Farbman, CSW

Ohel Family
& Children’s Services

(516) 569-0947
Contact: Barry Horowitz

Peninsula Counseling Center
(516) 569-6600
Contact: Herb Rubin

(718) 758-0400

Counseling Services
Crown Heights
(718) 778-0485
Chaim Sender
(718) 375-1200
Steven Gersten

(646) 673-5909
Moshe Borowski

Friday, December 26 | 9:43 AM 
Looking for the Tehillim names?  Click here

Friday, December 26 | 5:22 AM
Chanukah Wonderland activites are Suspended.

Chabad of the Five Towns
74 Maple Avenue
Cedarhurst, NY 11516

Phone: 516-295-2478
Fax: 516-295-7840
[email protected]