Rabbi Anchelle Perl will be showing off some new dance moves Sunday during the Chabad of Mineola’s 19th annual Chanukah Telethon, courtesy of a hip-hop legend.
Perl, 57, of Mineola will air a video of himself with rapper/record producer Doug E. Fresh learning “The Chanukah Dougie,” a new dance tailored specifically for the rabbi.
A mutual friend arranged for he and Doug E. Fresh to have dinner in August, and the two “hit it off,” according to the rabbi. He asked the rapper if he’d be willing to appear on the telethon. Doug E. Fresh couldn’t make the telethon, so they spent two hours in his Harlem home recording the video.
The clip also delves into a spiritual conversation, Perl said, after which he presented Doug E. Fresh with a menorah.
“We talked about the meaning of the tallest candle,” Perl said, adding that Doug E. Fresh had questions about finding the line between helping someone and being taken advantage of. “It turns out when you help others, you yourself get elevated to the highest position. Don’t ever be afraid to help someone; you never lose by helping.”
The fundraiser started on WLNY-TV in 1993 and has aired there ever since, mirroring telethons that Chabad organizations in California run. On Sunday, the telethon goes from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Perl hopes to raise $500,000. Proceeds will go into the organization’s annual budget to support local Hebrew schools, its prison and hospital outreach and educational programs. The telethon is also designed to remind watchers of the joy that the holiday represents. People can already view an abbreviated version of the rapper/rabbi’s collaboration on YouTube.
“People like that I did my own move with the tzitzis,” said Perl, who used some of his traditional garments to add flavor to the dance, which can be seen here.
Above: Mineola Rabbi Anchelle Perl gets some help with his dance moves from Doug E. Fresh.