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Photos by Justin Katz
Photos by Justin Katz

Rock climbing, jumping in moon bounces and face painting — those three things could set the scene for any party. But throw in a tent for putting on tefillin, a performance by a Jewish rock group and some glatt kosher food — now it’s a Chabad Lag B’Omer party.

“The main thing about [Lag B’Omer] is Jews celebrating that we are Jewish and celebrating it together,” says Rabbi Sholom Deitsch, co-director of Chabad Lubavitch of Northern Virginia, who hosted some 300 guests at his Fairfax campus on May 26.

As the sun started to set, the festivities kicked up while guests gathered in front of the stage.

While food and music never fail to entertain, no Lag B’Omer celebration is complete without a bonfire.


“The fire represents the most spiritual element in the physical world,” says Deitsch. “Lag B’Omer is about mysticism [and] the best way to depict [that] in a physical way is with fire.”

Joining Deitsch were the event’s co-sponsors, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia and Gesher Jewish Day School, whose Rabbi Mat Tonti and seventh-grade student Ephraim Hanley opened the live concert for the Jewish rock band 8th Day, fronted by Southern California natives Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus.

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