Home » Temple Emanu-El holds community candle lighting on first night of Hanukkah

Temple Emanu-El holds community candle lighting on first night of Hanukkah

Alana Siegel of Swampscott (left) and Maya Orenberg of Marblehead react in excitement and surprise after witnessing a magic trick. Photo by Libby O'Neill

More than 100 people came out to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah at Temple Emanu-El on Sunday with a community candle lighting. The event brought people of all ages together, ranging from newborns, to those that were in their 90’s. 

The first of the eight candles were lit, representing the first of the eight days of the Hanukkah festival. Traditional foods of potato latkes and jelly donuts were enjoyed by guests and the night was filled with music, celebration and joy. 

Rabbi David Meyer commented on the nights events, stating that it was a great way to kickoff the holiday celebrations.

“It’s wonderful to be able to gather again for community celebrations,” he said. “It was a great event, folks really enjoyed, and it was a perfect kickoff to the Hanukkah season.”

Rabbi Meyer led a blessing at the lighting, and the temple’s music director, Jon Nelson, led a singalong of some of the most popular festival songs. A number of dreidel games were played during the celebration, and the night was tied together with a performance from award-winning magician George Saterial. 

Rabbi Meyer expanded on the celebration, saying that not only was it great to bring the Marblehead community together, but to bring people that span numerous generations together.

“The Hanukkah season is very much a home-based with family and friends event as are most Jewish holidays, but being able to come together with one another, especially across the generations is just beautiful, and joyful, and adds so much meaning to the observance of Hanukkah,” he said. 

The observance of Hanukkah continues until Monday evening, and on Friday night, Temple Emanu-El will hold services for the Sabbath.