Happy Hanukkah! Hanukkah 2010 comes to the Pacific Northwest. Hanukkah (chanukah) is a Jewish celebration commemorating religious liberty and the triumph of light over darkness. The eight-day holiday begins tonight, Dec. 1, and continues through Dec. 8.
The celebration, known as the festival of lights, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night.
Here in Portland, Oegon the annual lighting of the giant Hanukkah Menorah at City Hall will take place Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m.
Following the ceremony, the public is invited into City Hall for a buffet meal that will include traditional Hanukkah delicacies like doughnuts and potato pancakes.
Live entertainment will be provided by the Maine Meshugoyim. Arts and crafts activities will be provided for children. And all guests will be invited to take part in a unique Jewish “Jeopardy” game.
Across the river in Vancouver, Washington, the Chabad Jewish Center is hosting a community-wide Grand Menorah Lighting at Esther Short Park today.
Mayor Tim Leavitt and Rabbi Shmulik Greenberg will light a 10-foot-tall menorah at the 5:30 p.m. ceremony. A klezmer band is slated to perform.
Festivities will then move inside the Hilton Vancouver Washington for a “Chanukah In Candyland”-themed celebration. Attendees will construct a 9-foot-tall jelly-bean menorah and smaller marshmallow menorahs, fill dreidels with Sandy Candy, and participate in a grand Dreidel Tournament.
In Ashland, Oregon, a giant Menorah constructed of canned goods will be donated to local families in need.
Construction of a giant menorah made of canned goods that will be donated to local families highlights this year’s annual Hanukkah celebration at Chabad of Southern Oregon.
The program will be from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, at Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way, Ashland.
The Can Food Menorah is being organized, built and donated by Chabad of Southern Oregon. Candles will be placed on top and the Can Menorah will be kindled. The 200-plus cans will be donated to the local food bank for families in need.
This year’s program also will feature Hanukkah arts and crafts, holiday music and Hanukkah treats, including latkes and donuts.
Chabad-Lubavitch, a Jewish outreach organization, will host a public menorah lighting for Hanukkah at the Portland Trail Blazers-Los Angeles Clippers basketball game Sunday in Oregon.
Follow the link for more activities in the Portland area.