Every year, members of the Jewish congregation in Evansville gather inside the walls of Temple Adath B’nai Israel for the lighting of the Hanukkiah on the first night of Hanukkah.
This year, the tradition continued but in a much different way than years past.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, a giant Hannukiah — a candelabra designed specifically for the Hanukkahcandles — now stands at the entrance of the temple. Each night of Hanukkah, members can stop by and watch from their car or from the temple’s Facebook page as a different TABI school family lights it.
A socially-distant Hanukkah party also was held outside on Sunday with special latkes, sufganiyot (Israeli doughnuts), cider, hot cocoa, a photo booth, dreidel hunt, and music.
“Our message this year has been to bring light into the darkness,” says Rabbi Gary Mazo. “We want to deemphasize receding and emphasize giving. People are in need more than ever before and we want to give them light during a dark time.”
To help in the spirit of giving, the temple is also collecting holiday gifts for Ruth’s House Women’s Shelter. Members can drop off gently used or new purses along with goodies to put in them (lipstick, perfume, nail polish, jewelry, toiletries, and makeup) at the temple during the Hanukkah celebrations.
Chag Sameach! Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish readers.