LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Several free public menorah lighting ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday in Los Angeles County to mark the start of Hanukkah, Judaism’s eight-day commemoration of the temple’s re-dedication that followed the victory of the Maccabees on a larger Syrian army.
The Boyle Heights Public Community Menorah lighting and Hanukkah celebration will begin with music at 4 p.m. on the steps of Breed Street Shul. The ceremony will begin at 4:15 p.m. with the menorah being lit at 4:45 p.m. Jelly donuts and latkes will be available from 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
MP Miguel Santiago is scheduled to speak at the celebration. Santiago, D-Los Angeles, made a provision in the 2021-2022 state budget to allocate $ 14.9 million in funding for renovations to buildings on the Breed Street Shul lot.
State funding will allow the preservation and rehabilitation of the very fragile unreinforced brick main building of the synagogue, which was built in 1923, including the completion of a seismic modernization, restoration of historic finishes, Compliance with U.S. Disability Act requirements and infrastructure upgrades.
The long-term plan is to convert the buildings on the nearly half-acre lot into a shared workspace for nonprofit organizations catering to the neighborhood’s existing and emerging social service needs, a performance venue. and events for cultural and artistic programming and an exhibition and gallery space emphasizing the unique heritage of Boyle Heights as an entry point for many different immigrant groups.
City Councilor Kevin de Leon, whose district includes Boyle Heights, Israeli Consul General Hillel Newman, Steven Sass, CEO of the Breed Street Shul Project, and Rabbi Jason Rosner are also expected to join Santiago to participate in the Hanukkah service with readings and talks. songs.
The celebration is hosted by David Silvas, vice president of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council.
Another Hanukkah event will take place in Boyle Heights next Sunday, âChanukah on the Eastside,â 7 to 10:30 p.m. at the Boyle Heights History Studios and Tours, 2026 E. 1st Street. It is organized by Boyle Heights Chavurah, which promotes itself as the grassroots Jewish community in eastern Los Angeles.
Boyle Heights, just east of downtown, was the largest Jewish community west of the Mississippi River from 1910 to 1950, with some 75,000 Yiddish-speaking Eastern European immigrants living side by side with neighbors of diverse origins and cultures.
The community included around 30 synagogues, including the Talmud Torah Congregation, commonly known as the Breed Street Shul and nicknamed “The Queen of the Shuls” due to the stunning and visually stunning Neo-Byzantine style design of its main building.
After World War II, the Jewish community in Los Angeles moved west and Boyle Heights became a predominantly Latino community.
The main building on Breed Street Shul, which was constructed in 1923, was neglected, vandalized and abandoned from the 1980s and was closed after being damaged by the Whittier earthquake in 1987. Services continued to take place in the original synagogue building from 1915 until 1996.
The main building was saved from demolition, thanks to emergency stabilization work funded by $ 1.3 million from public and private funds and over $ 500,000 in in-kind services.
Other free public menorah lighting ceremonies scheduled for Sunday include:
- The 33rd Annual Palisades Unity Menorah Lighting will take place from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. outside the Bay Theater at 1035 N. Swarthmore Ave. Emmy-winning actor Eugene Levy, Honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades, is expected to attend.
- The “Grand Chanukah Extravaganza” will be held from 4 pm to 6 pm at the 2nd and at the PCH Shopping Center in Long Beach. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia will speak immediately after the lighting. Entertainment will include a group of three musicians and a wader.
- A “Chanukah Gelt Drop & Public Menorah Lighting” is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Platform Mall in Culver City, with pieces of chocolate gelt dropped from a fire truck. There will also be free donuts and latkes and live music, and;
- Great Menorah Lighting will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, between Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway.
Once the Jews defeated the Syrian Hellenist forces of Antiochus IV in 165 BC. started by his father, the high priest Mattathias.
According to the Hanukkah story, Maccabeus and his soldiers wanted to light the temple’s ceremonial lamp with ritually pure olive oil as part of their dedication, but only found enough oil to burn for a daytime. The oil, however, burned for eight days in what was considered a miracle.
Chanukah – which means “dedication” in Hebrew – is observed around the world by lighting candles in a special menorah called Hanukkah each day at sunset for eight days, with an additional candle added each day.
The reason for the lights is that passers-by should see them and remember the miracle of the holidays.
Other Hanukkah traditions include the spinning of a dreidel, a four-sided spinning top, which in part commemorates a game that Jews under Greek rule were said to have played to camouflage their Torah study, and to eat fried foods in it. oil, such as latkes, pancakes with raw grated potatoes and jelly donuts.
Children receive Hanukkah “gelt” (the Yiddish word for money) from parents and grandparents. The tradition originated when 17th-century Polish Jews gave their children money to give to their teachers during Hanukkah, which led to parents giving money to children as well.
In the United States, the practice has evolved to give Christmas gifts to children and others.
Unlike the major holy days of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, or Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, observant Jews are allowed to work and attend school during Hanukkah, the only Jewish holiday that commemorates a military victory.