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Chabad Orange Reeling on News of Friend & Recent Speaker Killed in Israel At Festival

Chabad Orange Leaders Say "Let us Replace Darkness With Light"

Raz Mizrahi of the Israel Defense Force addresses over 150 women and teens at Chabad of Orange County’s recent Mega Challah Bake, led by Chana Burston. Raz was flown to Orange County to share her experience of recuperating after being wounded in a terror attack while on duty. Raz was killed in the recent terror attacks in Israel by Hamas militants

Israeli soldier who spoke at Chabad last month victim of Hamas Festival terror attack, leaves community reeling

It was a highlight of the special event just last month when Chabad of Orange County, led by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, flew out two Israeli Defense Soldiers to share their courageous experiences with over 150 women and teens at The Mega Sweet Challah Bake. The special guests, Raz Mizrahi and Eliyah Hrubi, who had been wounded in terror attacks several years ago and had recovered, shared courageous and heroic accounts of their experience. Orange County teens presented the two soldiers with gifts and cards. Participants spoke, celebrated and danced with these two heroic visitors.

When the terror attacks by Hamas on Israel raged, Chana Burston was notified that Raz was among the victims. The Jewish community was devastated to find that the hero they just met was among the hundreds murdered at the Nova music festival in the massacre attack by Hamas militants.

Chabad’s approach is to add light to combat darkness. “We need to have faith, be positive and add light to the world,” said Chana Burston. “We need to follow Raz’s lead, who told us, “The enemy couldn’t shatter my spirit! I’m still standing, I'm still fighting and I’m more in love with Israel than ever before.”

Community member Debra Smatt of Monroe says,” Raz was so happy to share her story – by the end of the night we weren’t strangers, but family.” Orit Zabari of Harriman adds, “She was inspirational and such a beautiful soul.” CTeen High School group met together to brainstorm fundraising ideas, with their goal of raising funds for a ballistic helmet and bullet proof vest for the Israel Defense Force was accomplished in one day. Teens wrote letters to the Israel Defense Force soldiers, packages together with treats.

Chabad arranged a Friday night “Shabbat Unity Event” to offer support to the community during this challenging time, which included adding in Mitzvot (positive deeds, commandments) in honor of Raz and all those who are wounded, captured and to honor those that perished. Mitzvot for Israel included the opportunity to don tefillin, light Shabbat candles, give charity and enjoy a community Shabbat dinner.

Chabad Hebrew School students created packages and cards for Israel Defense Forces. Additional events are underway in honor of Raz’s memory and in hopes for peace in Israel.

Chabad is raising emergency funds to help Israel. For more information on upcoming events and Chabad’s Israel emergency fund, call 845-782-2770, write or log onto

Israel Defense Force Raz Mizrahi (left), who was killed in the recent terrorist attacks in Israel, recently spoke for over 150 women and teens at Chabad of Orange County’s Mega Challah Bake. She is pictured with Chana Burston (middle) and fellow Israel Defense Force soldier Eliya Harubi

Raz Mizrahi (left) celebrates on the dance floor along with fellow Israel Defense Force Soldier Eliya Harubi (right) with over 150 women and teens at Chabad of Orange County’s Mega Challah Bake at Chabad of Orange County, lovated in Monroe

CTeen leader Eitan Einav, who has many relatives in Israel, leads teens to give charity in honor of Israel at the CTeen Lounge at Chabad of Orange County

CTeen Member Owen Leonard of Washingtonville, along with his mother, joined a Chabad event writing letters to soldiers and doing good deeds in honor of Israel

Seventh grade students from Goshen write letters packaged with sweets to soldiers in the Israel Defense Force at Chabad Hebrew School with Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston

Chabad Hebrew School students write cards packaged with sweets to soldiers of the Israel Defense Force

Rabbi Pesach Burston guides students as they write letters of gratitude and encouragement to soldiers in the Israel Defense Force at Chabad Hebrew School. Rabbi Pesach Is pictured with 7th grade student Liam Klausner of Monroe

Father and son Elliot and Jesse Meshulam of Highland Mills don Tefillin as an extra mitzvah in honor of Israel at Chabad of Orange County’s Unity Shabbat event at the Chabad House in Monroe. Pictured with them are Rabbi Pesach Burston (right) and his son Yossi Burston (left)

Chana Burston, who co-directs Chabad of Orange County, leads a discussion with the CTeen group of how teens can help Israel at Chabad’s CTeen Lounge. The teen group is conducting various fundraisers to benefit Israel

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