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    An Exclusive Interview With Zelig Friedman and Sholi Rosenblum From the Tantzers


    Years Tantzers are around: 8

    Number of Tantzer volunteers: Approximately 200 Men & 100 Women

    Founder of the Tantzers: Zelig Friedman

    Coordinator of the Mens Tantzers: Sholi Rosenblum

    Coordinator of the Womens Tantzers: Mrs. Elias and Mrs. Kaplan

    Amount of Simchas the Tantzers  Have Danced At: Over 500

    2019 Budget for the Tantzers: Over $500k

    Who and what are the Tantzers?

    Our slogan is that we are “Holy brothers bringing smiles to your face.” The Tantzers was started eight years ago by Zelig Friedman and Alexander Zisha Rosenblum, Sholi’s brother. Our main goal was to dance at Chasunas and Bar Mitzvas of Yisomim, Geirim, and other simchas where there was really no one else to dance for them. If there was a tragedy for a Ger or Ba’al Tshuva we were there to ease the pain.

    This was before there was social media and news didn’t spread as fast. We danced away as if it was our own brother’s Chasuna. About four years ago, Sholi came into the picture. We expanded, and we realized there was a need to be mesameach cholei yisrael. Sholi wanted to do something different and he came up with an idea. There are a lot of organizations that danced for the patient themselves. They go to the patient’s house or the hospital and dance with them. We do that as well.

    However, sometimes the patient and the family want to get out of their house. They are hooked up all day to machines and it can get depressing. Sholi started with two patients. The Tantzers brought them to a house and singer Yehuda Green and a bunch of guitar players played and sang for them. We brought approximately twenty volunteers and the host of the house prepared a beautiful buffet for the patients and their families. We danced for them for about 2 hours. It literally changed their lives! They still talk about it today; they meet me (Sholi) on the street and tell me what it meant for them. I decided that if I could do it for two patients, I could find a house and do it for five families. So, every 3-4 weeks we find a house to host us and we bring between five and ten families, volunteers, and musicians. We still dance at a lot of chasunas though.

    Where are the houses? Who are the people that give you houses?

    We are usually in Flatbush or Boro Park. These are just regular people who have room in their house. They are not necessarily wealthy, but they have houses that can accommodate a large group of people. In between these events, which happen every 3-4 weeks, we do birthday parties and go visit people in the hospital.

    Are all the entertainers volunteers?

    Most of the time they are. Every once in a while, they’ll charge us because sometimes we take them away from jobs. We also have to pay for the sound and other expenses. There are plenty of expenses.

    How did the Tantzers get their names?

    Tantzers dance at Chasunas! We dance! What else should we be called?

    What do you typically do when you visit a patient?

    Most of the time the patients come to us and we bring them to a house.

    Firstly, we let them get comfortable. We’re there to ease their suffering. For two hours we want them to forget about their suffering and make good memories. We are there to be misameach them!

    Another thing we do is make birthday parties. We get a cake, balloons, a keyboard player or guitarist and we make a birthday party. We just made one last night for a 23-year-old boy who has MS and is sitting in a wheelchair. It meant the world to him. Every year the Tantzers have a major Chanukah party. We bring together all the families that benefited from us throughout the year, about 100 families, and we bring them to a massive hall. A few months later we bring them together again and make them a Purim party. Each party is bigger than the next and more exciting. There are entertainers, bands, singers, and beautiful decorations. It’s considered the most beautiful Chanukah party ever. All different types of people and cholim are there and all we care about is making them happy.

    Where does the money come from for the parties?

    A lot of money is donated for the smallest things like cakes, to the bigger things like these huge parties. Zelig Friedman himself runs around and fundraises. He has people like Avrumi Elbogen from Hat Box that helps out, as well. Everything costs money. When we have couples events, when we take out the kids for trips and when we allow the mothers to have a little break by taking them out for dinner, it ALL COSTS MONEY. We are always looking for people to help us by becoming a volunteer or by donating.

    Any other great stories about the Tantzers that you can share?

    There are many. Last year we got a phone call about a choleh that was in a Cleveland hospital. Thirty-three volunteers drove out to Cleveland, Ohio to be mesameach a very critically ill patient. He was a young father of little children who came from Eretz Yisrael to have a transplant and r”l things did not work out well at all. He was living on pure miracles. He was so weak and feeling down and all he wanted was a few hours with the Tantzers. So we did it for him! The doctors and nurses said that they never witnessed such energy and happiness in the history of Cleveland! The patient himself got up to dance with us!

    It was a tremendous Kiddush Hashem!

    This past summer, we had an event in Boro Park and there was a young girl who took a break from treatment and came to the event. Her father came with a very professional camera, so I asked him what he was doing. He said she was going back for a few more months of treatment and the only thing that kept her going was seeing the Tantzer events and her father dancing. So, he videoed the whole event. This was the second week of the summer and I met him again last week.

    He told me his daughter kid watched the video over twenty times! We make connections and we become very close to the families. The patients look forward to all Tantzer events & parties.

    What happened with Alexander Zisha Rosenblum?

    Almost three years ago on November 3, 2016 someone in Monsey hosted the Tantzers.

    We brought together thirteen families with kids with the Machala and we had a beautiful party with entertainers and about fifty volunteers that drove out. On the way to this event, Zisha stopped off at the Ribnitz Tzion in Monsey and when his car got on to the Palisades, the car he was in got into a major accident. Since then he’s been in a trauma blockage. He reacts, but he can’t respond. He mamish needs a major refuah. He has been in a rehab in Far Rockaway since the accident. At that point, we decided we’re going to take the Tantzers to another level! Sholi even started 2 additional organizations for a refuah shelama lzchus his brother, Zisha.

    How many hours do you spend on Tantzers during the week?

    As much time as we can! Sholi is involved in 2 other organizations, as well as being the manager of Bagel Hole in Flatbush & Zelig is a very busy businessman.

    Are there also women Tantzers? Yes. We have an entire women’s division with over 100 volunteers. Mrs. Elias and Mrs. Kaplan and are the main coordinators. At the really big parties we have big mechitzahs and the volunteers come and dance with the girls. And of course, by chasunas, if the Kallah has no friends they come and they dance. We also made a cruise for mothers, daughters, and patients themselves.

    Anything else you want to talk about? Please be Mispallel for my brother Alexander Zisha Ben Aliza. He was a big part of the Tantzers and he needs a tremendous refuah!

    Wishing all of Klal Yisrael A gut Gbencht Yur!

    Where should I tell people to go to if they want to donate to Tantzers or to help pay for your brothers families expenses?

    They can call Zelig at 917 474 6220 or Sholi at 917-655-4770. We are always looking for volunteers & please help us by donating. We can use the money!