Free event by Chabad of Toluca Lake celebrates second night of Festival of Lights
Chabad of Toluca Lake will ignite a public Chanukah menorah erected at The Chase Bank on Riverside Dr. in Toluca Lake with a community-wide celebration on Wednesday, December 13 at 5:30pm, the second night of the eight-day holiday.
The ceremony, organized by Chabad Rabbi Moishe Carlebach, will feature NBC4’s Fritz Coleman, Honorary Mayor of Toluca Lake.
The menorah lighting ceremony promises to be fun for the whole family. There will be hot soup, latkes and jelly donuts as well as live entertainment by the famous fire juggler Ivan Pecel plus live music and hands-on crafts for the kids. Driedel fidget spinners will be available for the lucky children who attend the annual event. You can also participate in the annual toy drive to benefit Tarzana Children’s Hospital, by bringing an unwrapped toy to the party or by visiting ChabadOfTolucaLake.com to make a donation online.
“The menorah serves as a symbol of our city’s dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship G-d freely, openly and with pride. Specifically in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution,” said Rabbi Carlebach.
“I want my kids to grow up with pride in their Jewish heritage and a feeling of equality and self-confident as an American,” said Yana of Tarzana who is looking forward to attending the public menorah lighting. “Chabad’s Chanukah menorahs are arguably one of the most important developments ever to help my child’s education. I wish they had this where I grew up,” she added.
This year brings added significance as the world marks 50 years since the Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson – of righteous memory initiated the Mitzvah Campaigns, a historic undertaking that brought Jewish observance and celebration to the streets, laying the groundwork for public menorahs and the worldwide Chanukah campaign that he set into motion in 1973.
“The message of Chanukah is the message of light,” added Rabbi Carlebach. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference,” he said.
Today, the unprecedented public display of Chanukah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and awareness of the festival. Toluca Lake’s menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower and the Kremlin, helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.
For more information about Chanukah and a local schedule of events visit ChabadOfTolucaLake.com or call (818) 308-4118. Chase Bank Toluca Lake is located at 10050 W. Riverside Dr.