Fifteenth Anniversary of Menorah Lighting
Submitted by Larry Holt
On the evening of Tuesday, November 30th, the third of the eight days of Hanukkah, Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence and the three synagogues of Summit; Congregation Ohr Shalom-Summit Jewish Community Center, Temple Sinai, and Congregation Beth Hatikvah, lit the third candle of the Menorah on the lawn of Faith. This was the fifteenth consecutive year that Faith and the synagogues have partnered in the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah at Faith, which is located at 524 South Street, New Providence, NJ. Accompanying the Menorah during each of the years has been a sign, “In Celebration with our Jewish Brothers and Sisters.”
The lighting ceremony began with a welcome from Rev. Jane McCready, Pastor of Faith. She expressed her gratitude to the people from the four congregations in attendance and particularly greeted Rabbi Avi Friedman of Congregation Ohr Shalom-Summit Jewish Community Center and Rabbi Erin Glazer of Temple Sinai. Pastor McCready stated her appreciation for the long-term friendship Faith has had with the synagogues.
Rabbi Avi Friedman thanked Pastor McCready and Faith for again hosting the lighting ceremony and communicated the synagogues’ great happiness that this extraordinary tradition continues. He said that Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after the Maccabees, a small Jewish army, conquered the powerful Seleucid Army through guerrilla tactics. On the day of their liberation, the Maccabees could only find a small jug of uncontaminated oil that would light their Menorah for just one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days, the time needed to procure more uncontaminated oil.
Rabbi Friedman said that the Maccabbees’ Menorah should signify light and hope for us, as we navigate these difficult times.
A pamphlet of Hanukkah songs was distributed to all. The cantors of the three synagogues led everyone in the singing of the songs; a few were serious, most were fun. The cantors were Janet Ilene Roth of Congregation Ohr Shalom-Summit Jewish Community Center, Marina Shemesh of Temple Sinai, and Steve Wetter of Congregation Beth Hatikvah.
Rabbi Erin Glazer expressed her appreciation to Pastor McCready and Faith for conducting the lighting ceremony with the three synagogues. She praised that the tradition has occurred for fifteen years and will continue. The members of the synagogues are grateful for the friendship and recognition by Faith.
As the ceremony adjourned, there were many good wishes of Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.
For more information visit: Faith Lutheran — famfaith.org; Congregation Ohr Shalom-Summit Jewish Community Center — summitjcc.org; Temple Sinai — templesinainj.org; Congregation Beth Hatikvah — bethhatikvah.org