SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The city of Schenectady and the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York along with Capital Chabad hosted their annual Chanukah on Jay Street. The Festival of Lights was celebrated with a grand menorah lighting ceremony for the entire community.
Now that the first candle of eight has been lit, Hanukkah begins.
“The entire Community is coming together to celebrate the message of Hanukkah. Which is just a little bit of light can dispel a tremendous amount of darkness,” said Rabbi Zalman of Bethlehem Chabad.
In front of City Hall, a 12-foot-tall and six-foot-wide menorah that sits for all to appreciate. Believers say a temple lantern with only one day’s worth of fuel lasted for a total of eight days. That is why the Menorah has eight candles to represent each day of the miraculous burn.
Sunday’s candle was not lit at the Chanukah on Jay Street until folks had a chance to learn how to play some traditional Hannukah games like dreidel.
More than 20 vendors this year entertained the crowds with craft stations. And not to mention all the good smelling food that was available as well. There was even a tent to keep you warm with heaters and hot cocoa. Live music and flame throwers were all part of the fun.
New this year was an all-inclusive community painting provided by Absolute Airbrush Design’s artist and owner, Nabi Syed. The painting brings awareness to dispelling the darkness of antisemitism. A real threat to the Jewish community in New York.
Now in the second year of the event, people were enjoying themselves and the holiday season with their friends and loved ones.
Mayor Gary McCarthy confirming the new tradition will stay.
“We’re again, just proud to have it part of the overall engagement for the city of Schenectady,” said McCarthy.
Organizers tell NEWS10 that several hundred folks came out to the festival, last year. This year a whopping 1000 or more are expected.
“I would love if the takeaway from this event would be that people go home tonight celebrate Hanukkah and not only by themselves both family with friends and do another act of kindness goodness and kindness if we do that the impact would be tremendous a thousand people seemingly small little things but adds up and it really makes a big difference in our world and that’s the message of Hanukkah,” said Zalman.
Some might question the ninth candle but that is what is called the Shamash. It is a helper candle which is used in the lighting of the menorah candles.
If you missed Sunday’s lighting, you could still view the menorah as it will be moved to the Empire Plaza Concourse and if you take look atop proctors theater a menorah will be lit for 8 days there.