Chabad has been hosting public menorah celebrations throughout South Florida for years, but weeks after the horrific antisemitic shooting in Jersey City, it will be celebrated by a record number of Jewish participants eager to stand together and face down growing anti-Semitism throughout the United States and the world, with a defiant dose of Jewish pride when the first night of Hanukkah commences on Sunday, Dec. 22.
The recent rise in hate speech and hate crimes nationwide, including deadly shootings in Pittsburgh, Pa., Poway, Calif., and most recently in Jersey City, N.J., has Chabad organizers throughout the state expecting the largest turnout ever to take a stand against hate in a show of Jewish pride and unity.
Chanukah is the celebration of light over darkness. The darkness that we, as a nation, have been experiencing must be fought with light and goodness, and Chabad is putting together the biggest programs ever to show that we will not be intimidated by those who wish to scare us.
From Sunday’s Menorah Lighting at the Dolphins Game and Monday with Jewish Heritage Night at the Heat Game, to Wednesday nights concert at Gulfstream Park and the hundreds of additional Chanukah events put on by each local Chabad, hundreds of thousands will be uniting to celebrate the festival of lights.
All are of course invited to join us at the amazing annual Chanukah Street Fair in Highland Lakes taking place Thursday, Dec 26, on NE 211th Terr, just off of Dixie Hwy. The free event, which includes roaming entertainment, circus shows, music, a food court, holiday boutique and hourly prize giveaway, will begin at 2:30pm, and conclude with a grand Menorah Lighting at 5:30. The $12 wristband includes unlimited: Laser Tag, Rides, Popcorn, Bounce Houses, Face Painting & Balloon Art. There will also be optional activities like Chanukah candle making and arts & crafts. .
While public menorah lightings have been — and continue to be — an integral part of the holiday, this year, an increased number of community members have shared that they will be joining public menorah lightings to express their Jewish pride.
Lenny Brnstein is a parent of a kindergarten child in the community, who is planning to attend the public celebration for the first time despite his initial discomfort with expressing his Jewish identity so publicly and openly.
“They want us to be afraid—to fear proudly proclaiming our Jewish identity,” he said. “I usually just light the menorah at home, but with all the anti-Semitism we are witnessing around us, I’m also going to join the public menorah lighting because I think this is the most effective thing we can do to fight evil. We need to be taking it head on.”
To find a local event here in Florida, or anywhere throughout the world, visit the international Chanukah event directory at ChabadChayil.org/Chanukah.
Large display Menorahs are available at many online sources and can still get to you in time for the holiday. If you need a menorah or candles for yourself, or need any help celebrating the holiday or finding a large Menorah to display at your place of work, please call your local Chabad or my office at (305) 770-1919. We can also help you plan your own Chanukah event, Menorah lighting or Latke party.
We wish you and your family a very happy Chaunkah. May our days be filled with light, warmth, joy and positive energy, and always increasing, just like the Menorah lights that increase with each day.
To join us for the annual beautiful Street Fair call (305) 770-1919 or visit ChabadChayil.org/fair.