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Chanukah 2017 Recap

Friday, 22 December, 2017 - 10:54 am

We are coming off of the high of a wonderful Chanukah holiday and I would like to share with you, our partners in the work of Chabad – directly or indirectly – a recap of Chanukah 2017 with Chabad of Louisiana.

Olive Press Sinai 1.jpgChabad’s Living Legacy Series presented the Olive Press Craft Workshop at Northshore Jewish Congregation, Temple Sinai, Woldenberg Village and Gates of Prayer. All in all over 100 children and adults enjoyed and were enriched by the presentations. The Living Legacy Series is underwritten by a grant from the Goldring and Woldenberg Foundations. We thank Alan Franco for facilitating this grant, enabling us to enhance the holiday for so many in our community.

Taste of Chanukah Whole Foods 2.jpgOn the Sunday before Chanukah, Chabad Uptown partnered with Whole Foods Market Arabella Station for a Taste of Chanukah. For 3 hours, hundreds of latkes were made and served in the breezeway along with Chanukah materials and literature. The smell of latkes frying was drawing people from all around the store and the parking lot. Over at the Veterans location it was the children who were making Latkes along with Rabbi Zalman and Libby Groner of Chabad Metairie.

Chanukah_5778-62.jpgThe first night of Chanukah heralded the lighting of the Menorah overlooking the Mississippi. Chanukah @ Riverwalk was held at the Riverwalk food-court and terrace due to construction at the Spanish Plaza. 400 attendees enjoyed a latke bar, children’s activities and face painting, a performance by George the juggler, music by Ooh Lala and an assortment of specialty Chanukah items including our signature Chanukah beads created by Mardi Gras Zone and the Naghi family. The lighting ceremony was addressed by MC Jill Halpern, Councilman Elect Joe Giarrusso, Laura Gurievsky (Riverwalk), Henry Miller (Federation), Morris Bart, Arnie Fielkow and Rabbi Zelig Rivkin. The Menorah was lit by Richard Cahn and the blessings were sung by Yehudah Lang. This year’s event was dedicated in memory of Dr. David Kaufmann, founding coordinator of Chanukah @ Riverwalk.

That same night, Chabad Tulane lit the Menorah at the LBC quad allowing students a quick break from studying for exams to warm themselves in the light of the Menorah.

Chanukah VA.jpgDuring the second day of Chanukah a Menorah lighting ceremony was held with Rabbi Mendel Ceitlin in the VA facility. On the third eve of Chanukah a Menorah lighting celebration was held at Lambeth House. Later that evening Chanukah on the Coast was Chanukah Coast.jpgheld at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi with Rabbi Akiva and Hannah Hall, attended by 75 including the Mayor of Biloxi, Andrew “FoFo” Gilich.

On the fourth night of Chanukah, Shabbat, Mobile Menorah Parade 1.jpgChabad Metairie held their Shabbat Chanukah Family Dinner. Saturday Night, the fifth night of Chanukah, heralded the Mobile Menorah Parade. The Krewe of Chanukah paraded through downtown, the French Quarter, the Marigny and back uptown, followed by a party hosted by the Kehaty and Schreiber families.

Chanukah BR.jpgChanukah @ the Capitol in Baton Rouge was held on the sixth night with Rabbi Peretz and Mushka Kazen, attended by 100 and included a gelt drop courtesy of the Baton Rouge Fire Dept.

On the seventh night of Chanukah the women of the Rosh Chodesh Society met for a Chanukah celebration at Chabad Metairie.

This is in addition to the many private and communal celebrations of Chanukah throughout our region. This “minor holiday” has really come a long way.

On the last day of Chanukah, as the sun was setting on the east coast, the wonderful news about the release of Sholom Rubashkin was heard, and he returned home that night. Whatever one knows or thinks about the case and its details, there is no arguing that his harsh 27 year sentence was completely over the top. The news was greeted by spontaneous joy and celebration around the world, as thousands took to the streets and synagogues to rejoice. It is heartwarming to see how much caring there is from one Jew to another. This type of unity and brotherhood will surely carry us over the threshold that separates exile from redemption, may it take place very soon.

Shabbat Shalom 
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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