The eight days of Chanukah

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Chanukah celebrations are already underway in the Valley and beyond, as Jewish families across the globe commemorate the second century B.C.E. rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt against Greek rule. This year’s “festival of lights” begins at sunset tonight (Dec. 20) and runs through sundown on Dec. 28.

Governor Jan Brewer is scheduled to attend tonight’s “Arizona Capitol Menorah Lighting Ceremony” at 5pm, and plenty of Valley groups are planning to participate.

Youth who recently performed in the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company production of “Fiddler on the Roof, Jr.” will be joining Brewer in full costume to light the menorah, according to Janet Arnold, the company’s founder and producing director. They’ll also be singing a song from the musical that’s titled “Tradition.”

Chabad of Arizona begins their “Grand Menorah Parade” at 3:30pm today — traveling to Wesley Bolin Plaza at 1700 W. Washington in Phoenix from Chabad Lubavitch of Arizona at 2110 E.Lincoln Drive.

Their “Grand Menorah Lighting” celebration kicks off at 4pm — featuring yo-yo entertainment, donut decorating, a visit from Judah the Maccabee and more. Even door prizes for every child, a raffle with additional prizes and goodies like latkes, sufganiyot and hot drinks.

It’s a great way for parents eager to help children understand and appreciate a variety of traditions to help their children learn more about Jewish faith and culture. Remember, as you pass all those elaborate displays of Christmas lights, that friends and neighbors may be celebrating the “festival of lights,” mindful of a miracle that kept oil burning in a temple long ago.

– Lynn

Note: This post has been updated with photos of Wednesday’s celebration taken by Jeff Lynn, provided courtesy of Chabad of Arizona/Chabad of Downtown.

Coming up: Jewish arts and culture in Arizona — and beyond

Update: Those of you who missed the public menorah lighting on Dec. 20 will have other opportunities in coming days as various Chabad groups host lightings. Click here for a listing of these and other events compiled by Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. 11/21/11

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2 responses to “The eight days of Chanukah

  1. My son was in the cast of “fidler” and the menorah lighting with the governor was awesome! Thanks for covering it!

  2. Thanks to Janet Arnold for alerting me to the “Fiddler” cast taking part! Wish I could have been there–had to settle for a nasty flu bug instead. Would love to add some pics of the AJTC Curtain Call kids singing “Tradition” if parents want to share them!

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