With people from Perth to Auckland sending greetings, 18for18 was endorsed across the community: “Coronavirus can separate us but can’t stop us celebrating Jewish life together.”

More than 40,000 Jews in Australia, New Zealand and beyond were determined not to let coronavirus restrictions spoil Lag b’Omer, joining in a landmark online celebration emphasising “chai” (life) – symbolised by the number 18.

At 6pm on Monday (the 18th of Iyar), for just over a quarter hour, they ditched isolation woes for 18for18, a cyberspace celebration marking the holiday.

The 18-minute party on Facebook, YouTube and its own website – followed by musical performances and a magic show – initially aimed to attract 18,000 followers, but that target was blown away, with more than 40,000 views, an elated 18for18 coordinator Rabbi Moshe Kahn of Melbourne said, as he thanked volunteers and sponsors.

Read the full article here on The Australian Jewish News or view the recording here on 18for18.