by Rabbi Chaim Litvin

Chanukah 2013 will be remembered as the year that Chanukah coincided with Thanksgiving. It will also be remembered by hundreds of children and young adults in our community as the Chanukah that Chabad sponsored a community event each night of the eight nights of Chanukah.

On the first night, a giant menorah was erected at 4th Street Live. Dozens of people gathered to have a pre-Chanukah bowling event at The Sports & Social Club on 4th Street. Bowling was accompanied by Jewish music, hot latkes and many other Chanukah treats. Dr. Britt Brockman, president of the board of directors of University of Kentucky was on hand to light the menorah.

The eighth night was celebrated at The Paddock Shops. A parade of cars left from The Temple parking lot adorned with Chanukah flags and proceded to the mall. Both the lead and last cars had flashing Menorahs on their roofs wishing Happy Chanukah to all. Upon reaching the mall Mayor Greg Fischer lit the menorah and wished the entire community a Happy Chanukah.

On each of the other nights of Chanukah there was a different community event such as an ice skating party at Alpine Ice Arena, a hands on presentation on making olive oil just as our ancestors would have done 2000 years ago in the Temple. On Tuesday night, December 3, Chabad sponsored a menorah lighting and celebration at the Joseph Beth Booksellers and the University of Kentucky’s women’s basketball coach, Matthew Mitchell lit the menorah.

Chabad of Kentucky sponsored these programs as a way to reconnect our local youth with their heritage as Jews and to enable Jewish children to celebrate Chanukah with pride and joy.

Similar programs are planned for upcoming Jewish holidays throughout the coming year.

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