By Susan Heckler
So there you are, shopping at your local mall a few weeks before the holidays and out of nowhere you hear the shrill sound of a ram’s horn being blown. You look around, trying to find the source and before you can find it, you hear voices in harmony, singing Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah.
At first it was a few voices and then more and more joined in. It seemed like the entire mall was in unison by the time Jingle Bell Rock began. What started out as a hit and run shopping trip for holiday errands became a highly spirited, mood lifting, infectious, smile forming and wonderful time! Who can we thank?
In an interview with Michael Shernicoff, board member of Congregation Kol Am, he explained it as a way to express good will to all during this holiday season. As event coordinators, wife Victoria and Michael claim the purpose of the event was to express the congregation’s appreciation for the community support it has received the past 12 years as “wandering Jews, a congregation without walls or a home.” The flash mob was a gift to celebrate that they now have a footprint within the community at 59 Broad Street in Freehold Borough.
Mall management was more than willing to host the event. Victoria has connections with choruses as she is a member of the Sweet Adelines International. Michael contacted college A Capella groups and Howell High School. When all was said and done, there were 200 voices throughout the center of the mall. Six singers began the tunes, which were shortly doubled than tripled etc. until all 200 were in full throttle harmony. The joyous sing-a-long was graciously provided by the members of the Congregation Kol Am Choir, the Liberty Oak Chorus, Heart of New Jersey Chorus and Jersey Harmony Chorus chapters of Sweet Adeline International; the Red Bank Area Chapter of Barbershop Harmony Society; Sweet Adeline registered quartets, “Synergy,” “Impulse!,” “Balancing Act” and “Match 4”; and Howell High School’s A Capella groups “Rebel Yell”, “The Rebelettes” and “Rebelation,” under the direction of Mr. Joseph Cantaffa. All of the arrangements and correspondents were via email, the group never rehearsed together.
Ten videographers were stationed around and the film was edited by Gary Gellman of Gellman Images. The shofar blower was Rabbi Brooks Susman.
You can view the flash mob on You Tube “Chanukah Flash Mob in Freehold” which now reports over 31,288 views!
Way to go to bring holiday spirit to an entire mall! Thanks to all. Stay tuned to see what is planned next!