Celebrating Hanukkah

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  • Photos by Dr. Michael Hoffman and Sherri Eccelston Pictured at the Monroe Menorah lighting from right to left are: Monroe Mayor Jim Purcell, Al Muhlrad of Goshen, Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, along with some of their children.

  • Photo courtesy of Dr. Seth Pulver Community members brave the cold to attend a public menorah lighting ceremony in Tuxedo.

  • Bundled up with some cocoa and warm Hanukkah spirit at the Monroe Menorah Lighting and Gelt Drop (l-r): Amir Mosker, Andrew Redling, Chana Burston, Bella Redling, all of Monroe, Juliana Loftus and her mom Lee of Goshen, Yasmine Mosher and Bonnie Redling.

  • Candle for the IDF: Lighting the first candle of the Mitzvah Military Menorah, honoring the Israel Defense Force, are IDF veterans Limor Einav of Highland Mills and Eli Ram of Monroe.

The Orange County community gathered to celebrate Hanukkah together at various events hosted by Chabad of Orange County, directed by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, throughout the Jewish Festival of Lights. Here are some of the highlights:

First nightAs the temperature dropped on the first night of Hanukkah, so did the chocolate coins. After a festive Menorah lighting - lit by Monroe Mayor James Purcell and Al Muhlrad of Goshen - the rabbi, along with the mayor, dropped more than 3,000 Hanukkah chocolate coins from a fire truck. Chabad provided toy fire hats to the children to catch the candy.

Second nightChabad hosted its annual community event by renting out the entire Colonial Lanes in Chester on the second night of Hanukkah.

This year, the highlight was the lighting of a Military Menorah, made of canteens used by soldiers. This unique menorah was part of Chabad’s “Hanukkah for a Cause” to share the light with soldiers in the U.S. and Israel, “arming our soldiers with light and love.”

Participants also brought snacks, gifts and toiletries that were then sent to soldiers Robert Rosen, originally from Harriman, and Lucas Turso, originally from Goshen, and their units. Both are Chabad Hebrew School alumni.

Third nightOn the third night of Hanukkah, Chabad hosted a Menorah Lighting at the train station in Tuxedo. Deputy Town Supervisor Michele K. Lindsay lit the shamash. “The shamash serves the other candles,” Burston said, “so we have a human shamash - a town official - to light the shamash!”

Then, a reception was help in the Community Room in the iconic train station, with latkes, doughnuts, hot cocoa crafts and a raffle.

To learn more about Chabad of Orange County’s community events and programs, visit www.ChabadOrange.com.

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