SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange's second annual Menorah Lighting and Hanukkah Celebration took place in Spiotta Park on Sunday night, the first night of Hanukkah.
The ceremony opened with Rabbi Jesse Olitzky of Congregation Beth El welcoming the crowd, and recognizing how special it is to join together and light the menorah for all to see. Rabbi Olitzky shared that on Hanukkah the menorah "brings light at this darkest time of the year."
Olitzky also spoke to the crowd of the great deal of darkness the world has experienced in the last few weeks, both in the United States and around the world.
Rabbi Mark Cooper of Oheb Shalom also spoke at the ceremony about the miracle of Hanukkah, when one drop of oil lasted eight days. To commemorate this miracle, Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights, with the lighting of the menorah each night and with eating foods fried in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes), and Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).
The festivities in Spiotta Park continued with the crowd singing traditional Hanukkah songs, led by Cantor Rebecca Moses of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel.
The event concluded with Rabbi Olitzky thanking the crowd for attending, the Village of South Orange, and the South Orange Village Alliance for making Spiotta Park available for the Hanukkah celebration and candle lighting.
The event was sponsored by Congregation Beth El, Oheb Shalom, Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, with support from South Orange Village, and the South Orange Village Alliance.