Chabad of the West Valley’s Chanukah celebration and Menorah Lighting in Glendale will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Fountain Park in the Westgate Entertainment District.
This years highlights include “Fire on ICE” where participants will watch a master ice-carver sculpt a giant menorah from a raw block of ice that will be lit along with a performance by a professional fire dancer.
Participants will also enjoy festive holiday music, facepainting, crafts, touch-a-fire-truck time, latkes (traditional potato pancakes), fresh sufganiyot (traditional jelly doughnuts), and hot cocoa. Firefighters of the Glendale Fire Department will sprinkle Chanukah gifts, chocolate coins and menorah parachutes from the top of the extended ladder of the fire truck.
The celebration will include with a menorah lighting, facing Hana Drive, so passers-by can view and be part of the festivities.
Chabad is growing the event this year to mark “Hakhel-The Jewish Year of Gatherings,” a once-in-seven-years Jewish tradition to increase in gatherings for unity and purpose gatherings throughout the year.
“The menorah serves as a symbol of light and hope for us today, as it did for generations before us,” Rabbi Sholom Lew, event organizer, shared in a statement. “The flames of the menorah shine out into the night, reminding us that even when confronted with much darkness, a tiny light can dispel it all. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”
The event is geared to promote Jewish Pride, in the face of an uptick in Antisemetism, a news release states. As the Rebbe — Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory — would often teach, the menorah is a reminder that light can be brought to the darkest of times. At the core of the holiday’s observance is sharing the light with others who may not be experiencing it.
Chabad of West Valley, which offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations, will also distribute menorahs, candles, and Chanukah-at-home kits to those celebrating at home.
The free event is open to residents of all backgrounds.
Chabad of West Valley is located at 7942 W. Bell Road, Glendale.