Come from Away: Rabbi Sudak talks at Edgware United on 9/11
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Wednesday 24th July 2019

Last Tuesday 16th July, Rabbi Leivi Sudak, the director of Chabad Lubavitch of Edgware gave a talk to 150 people at Edgware United Synagogue entitled ‘Come from Away: A perspective from within’

Rabbi Sudak spoke about a real life emergency that happened to him on 9/11, September 11th, 2001. He was on an aeroplane heading to New York which due to the collapse of the Twin towers by terrorists became diverted to Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. USA airspace was closed and the plane was diverted to the airport at Gander. Rabbi Sudak had a choice, either to see the negatives due to his plane being diverted to an unknown area- or to take advantage of the situation and help other people through it.

On board the plane were several Orthodox Jews and those who were returning to the religion. Upon arrival in Newfoundland, Rabbi Sudak decided to assist those around him. His big worry was what to do for kosher food and Shabbat. The Rabbi, with help from others, was able to find and prepare kosher food and kosher the kitchen of the place where they were temporarily living. Over that day, he also helped other Jews connect back to their Judaism.

The audience for the talk was large and diverse, with many coming from across London to hear Rabbi Sudak speak. The story of how the plane he was on was diverted, has also been turned into a West End musical ‘Come from Away’ which features a character based upon him. The musical is on at the Phoenix theatre, London, winning 4 Olivier awards and was on Broadway.

Dr Ellis Friedman, audience member at the talk at Edgware said, "We thought last night was one of the best adult education events we have attended at the shul. Fascinating account by Rabbi Sudak."

Spencer Nathan, Edgware US adult education organiser said, "Rabbi Sudak showed how the tragedy of 9/11 brought out the best in people through hospitality and friendship, no matter what the peoples’ backgrounds."

Rabbi Sudak said, "It is important this story is told. The days spent in Gander showed the very best in humanity, after what was an unthinkable act of terrorism."


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