Public Menorah Lighting

Brighton is a bit brighter this December.  The Jewish Russian Center of Brighton held a public lighting ceremony on Monday evening to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. 









State Representative Brian Golden, City Councilor Michael Ross and then City Council candidate (now our newly elected Council) Jerry McDermott were the guests of honor as the Center commemorated the fifth day of the eight-day festival.   

Freezing temperatures did not keep people away despite being one of the coldest Chanukah celebrations in recent memory.  Several Russian Americans joked that it reminded them of a cold Chanukah in the former Soviet Union.

Although Chanukah is a celebration of two miracles: the miracle of the war victory and the miracle of light, "we don't celebrate Chanukah by teaching our kids how to fight, how to throw stones, how to use weapons,"  said Executive Director of the Center, Rabbi Dan Rodkin.  "We teach our kids, and we teach our selves, that light is always better, and when you have darkness, the best way to fight with the darkness is by light.  Kindness and goodness are the best weapons that we can use."

The ceremony was also symbolic of the religious and political freedom Jews could not enjoy in Russia but are granted in America.  Oil lamplight, a symbol of our ancestors' freedom, illuminated the Brighton District Court across the street, a symbol of our current freedom.

Representative Golden thanked the Center for the opportunity to participate in the event.  "As we light the menorah this evening, we're reminded that miracles can happen.  We can have the miraculous occurrence of living in freedom without fear."  

McDermott also expressed his appreciation for taking part in the festivities.

The ceremony was followed by a youth choir concert that treated the public to traditional Jewish holiday songs.  Leading the choir was opera-trained vocalist Samuel Yanovsky.