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A Menorah at the Children's Museum

Friday, 27 December, 2019 - 11:29 am

As many are aware, the Louisiana Children’s Museum recently moved from the Warehouse District on Julia St. to a beautiful new venue in City Park. A few days before Chanukah a prominent member of the Jewish community respectfully expressed disappointment with the museum’s lack of inclusion of Chanukah in the seasonal display.

The director of the museum called Arnie Fielkow, CEO of the Jewish Federation, to ask for some guidance and help in incorporating a Chanukah element into the display. Arnie asked me if I would be willing to help. Of course I agreed and called the director right away. We ended up speaking only a few days later, on Monday the first day of Chanukah.

I expressed to her how appreciative we are of the museum’s desire to be inclusive of the Jewish community in the display. We talked about a few ideas and then I suggested that she consider displaying a Menorah that was built by the students of the Chabad Hebrew School. It had been on display at Chanukah @ Riverwalk and now it was available to be used at the museum. She loved the idea and how it fit with the rest of the theme. By that afternoon, Rabbi Zalman and Libby Groner dropped off the Chabad Hebrew School Menorah at the Louisiana Children’s Museum where it will be on display for the rest of Chanukah.    

There are a number of beautiful takeaways from this story. First how Chanukah has become a part of our society’s fabric. I believe the Chabad push for public Menorah lightings and Chanukah celebrations has a lot to do with that. Another takeaway is that sometimes a gentle push is needed to get something accomplished. Finally, the beauty of collaboration. When the different organizations that make up our community have a good working relationship, much good can be achieved.

Please see below for the first photos of Chanukah @ Riverwalk. We hope to have the professional photos and a full Chanukah recap next week.

Please also check out the links to the TV interviews in advance of this year’s Chanukah @ Riverwalk Celebration.

WWL-4 - https://www.wwltv.com/video/news/local/morning-show/celebrating-chanukah-at-the-riverwalk/289-adb6be78-99c1-43ca-8759-ae2090d0a6fb

WVUE-Fox8 - https://www.fox8live.com/video/20 19/12/20/menorah-lighting-rabbi-mendel-rivkin-samantha-brady/

WDSU-6 - https://www.wdsu.com/article/city-prepares-for-the-annual-menorah-lighting/30298860.

Wishing you a happy rest of Chanukah and Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

 

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