On Thursday, December 29, thousands of fans poured into Nassau Coliseum, to celebrate the Fourth Annual Jewish Heritage night sponsored by the Islanders and Chabad of West Hempstead.
Thursday night’s thrilling Islanders victory over the Calgary Flames was certainly impressive, but not as exciting as the Chanukah and Jewish festivities of the night. This event, so perfectly organized by Rabbi Lieberman of Chabad of West Hempstead, not only brought Jews to the game but provided them with comfort and free kosher food from the I and D Kosher Stand, in an event described by Rabbi Lieberman as “A positive experience of joining with other Jews, eating kosher food and hearing words of Torah”. Fans shared this view, 10 year old Islanders fan Adam Lindenblatt exclaimed “It’s such a great thing to see all of the Jews come together at the game”. Jewish Heritage night, was surely a night to remember.
A little more than a minute into the game, the Calgary Flames, scored a goal, leading many fans to believe tonight would be little more than an extension to Islanders 4 game losing streak at home. When the period finally came to a close with a brawl, Rabbi Lieberman stepped onto the ice to deliver a Dvar Torah and words of inspiration, to over 14,000 of fans, coaches and players. Which were well received and the reinvigorated crowd, the fans went on to cheer their team to scoring a goal and tying the game 3 minutes into the second period. Following the goal an announcement was made in the arena declaring Jewish Heritage night, and one lucky fan was chosen for a Chanukah Trivia Challenge to win a great Islanders prize. At the conclusion of the second period, there was a Ma’ariv minyan for the fans in attendance. The prayers seemed to have been answered, when the Islanders proceeded to score another goal making it a 2-1 game, and then sealing up the win with an empty netter to win 3-1.