Chabad Jewish Center of South Pasadena lit a nine-foot public Hanukkah menorah by the Metro Gold Line on November 29th, the second night of the eight-day Festival of Lights. The event, made in conjunction with Jeweled Universe, featured arts and crafts and a light show for the children, and delicious latkes and donuts for all. Complimentary Hanukkah menorahs and candles were distributed as well for participants to light at home.
The large-scale, in-person public Hanukkah celebration came to South Pasadena for the first time in the city’s history, and over 120 participants joined Chabad Jewish Center’s menorah lighting this year.
“Everyone is especially excited about Hanukkah this year,” said Rabbi Dovid Harlig, Rabbi of Chabad Jewish Center of South Pasadena. “People are prepared to celebrate with family and friends, to fill their homes with the light of Hanukkah, and there’s a palpable joy. The public Hanukkah celebration was about sharing this light and joy with the broader community and the entire city of South Pasadena.”
– A Global Hanukkah Awareness Campaign –
Hanukkah emphasizes that each and every individual has the unique power to illuminate the entire world. It was to encourage this profound idea that the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, launched the Hanukkah awareness campaign in 1973, of which South Pasadena’s public Hanukkah activities are a part. The menorah faces the street, the Rebbe notes, and so bypassers immediately feel “the effect of the light, which illuminates the outside and the environment.” In the half-century since, the Rebbe’s campaign has brought Hanukkah into the mainstream and altered awareness and practice of the festival, returning what some mistakenly dismissed as a minor holiday to its roots as a public proclamation of the triumph of freedom over oppression and a mainstay of Jewish cultural and religious life.
Chabad-Lubavitch’s annual Hanukkah campaign has distributed millions of menorahs to Jews around the world, and erected thousands of public menorahs to share its universal message of light over darkness with humanity at large. This year’s Hanukkah campaign will be one of unprecedented light and joy, seeing Chabad reach 8 million Jews in more than 100 countries. For the first time in two years, energetic crowds will once again be gathering on streets and thoroughfares, in great metropolises and small towns alike, to participate in the more than 15,000 large public menorahs Chabad will place worldwide. Even as crowds gather again, the Hanukkah parades and drive-in events, that ensured safe events last year, will go on, and this year more than 6,500 Hanukkah menorah-topped cars will hit the road in Chabad menorah parades to share the Hanukkah message of hope and joy around the globe.
Chabad will help bring the light and celebration of Hanukkah into homes everywhere by distributing approximately 64 million Hanukkah candles, more than 700,000 menorah kits, and 2.5 million holiday guides in 17 languages.
– Chabad’s Growing Impact –
This year’s Hanukkah campaign comes amid a growing awareness of Chabad-Lubavitch’s indelible impact on Jewish life. Pew Research Center’s 2020 survey of Jewish Americans showed that 38 percent of all American Jews have participated in Chabad activities and services, of whom more than 75 percent do not identify as Orthodox.
The menorah’s power is especially felt when it is lit with joy and enthusiasm, as it was this year, with an added appreciation for the blessing of being able to gather once again as a community and celebrating together.
Throughout the State of California, Chabad will be presenting scores of Hanukkah events and celebrations, including public menorah lightings, Menorah parades, Latke parties, and more. To find a local event in California, or practically anywhere throughout the world, visit the international Hanukkah event directory at www.Chabad.org/HanukkahEvents.
For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events visit www.jewishsouthpasadena.com
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Sunday, November 28, and concludes the evening of Monday, December 6. It recalls the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people who defeated the Syrian-Greeks who had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life and prohibit religious freedom. They also desecrated and defiled the Temple and the oils prepared for the lighting of the menorah, which was part of the daily service. Upon recapturing the Temple only one jar of undefiled oil was found, enough to burn only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight. In commemoration, Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabrum known as a menorah. Today, people of all faiths consider the holiday a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness. Additional information about the Hanukkah holiday is available at www.Chabad.org/Hanukkah.
ABOUT CHABAD JEWISH CENTER OF SOUTH PASADENA
Chabad Jewish Center of South Pasadena offers Jewish education, outreach, and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and affiliations. For more information, visit jewishsouthpasadena.com .
CONTACT: Rabbi Dovid Harlig at (909) 929-9275 or firstname.lastname@example.org