A sold-out crowd at Hanukkah in Markham, Ontario, filled a one-of-a-kind Jewish Garden of Light, with twinkling lights and Chanukah signs and letters lighting up the night.Full text, photos
One of the most vexing questions on the minds of every Chabad Rabbis at this time of the year, especially if they’ve had similar Hanukkah programs for the past 20, 30, or 40 years, is for the annual Hanukkah lighting. It’s about what new creative ideas you can come up with. Year?
Enter the Garden of Hanukkah Lights. A brand new and refreshing original concept unveiled this year to coincide with the annual Chabad Markham Hanukkah lighting ceremony.
This is how it unfolded. On Sunday night, the first night of Hanukkah, hundreds of people arrived at Chabad’s front terrace facing Main Street and were blown away by what they saw. There was a unique Jewish garden of lights with Chanukah signs and characters lighting up the night.
In the center was a food court with round decorated tables dotted with hot dog booths, hot cocoa, hot soup platters, souffani yachts and beer stations. Chanukah music was playing. Further up is an arts and crafts table with village glassblowers preparing small Hanukkah trinkets and menorahs, and specialties of Hanukkah art prepared for children. There was a town square. It was snowing, but no one was worried because the outdoor heaters were circulating warm air and an indoor heating center had been set up for the elderly.
Then, in the middle of the courtyard, there was a beautiful menorah, all ready to be lit, decorated with beautifully lit signs.
The children who arrived felt very special to be in this small, cozy stetel where everything was Jewish and Kosher. And so did the adults.
An hour into the program, everyone was called to gather around the menorah for the lighting ceremony.blessings sung by rabbis Other Gitlin Enthusiastic crowds joined in by singing in unison and waving outdoor light-up wands.
rabbi Abraham Plotkin We have introduced dignitaries and politicians who spoke of the power of light to dispel darkness.Deputy Mayor Reads Greetings Michelle Chan On behalf of the mayor and council.
The feedback we received was amazing. Everyone said that the program felt really great about being Jewish and that this format should be adopted every year.
thanks rabbi Meir When Esther Gitlin to coordinate the program together Yossi Burkhtinrabbi Abraham and Lebetzin Goldie PlotkinWe would like to thank the many volunteers who contributed their time and expertise to make this event a success.