ashland.news
February 29, 2024

Chabad of Southern Oregon to host Hanukkah celebrations, menorah lightings

Rabbi Avi Zwiebel of the Chabad Jewish Center in Ashland led the ceremony at the lighting of the Menorah on the first day of Hanukkah in 2022. Bob Palermini photo/palermini.com
December 5, 2023

Havurah Hanukkah Faire set for Saturday

By James Sloan, Rogue Valley Times

The eight days and nights of Hanukkah will light up the Rogue Valley, with the Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon heading multiple menorah lightings and holiday events to celebrate the season.

The Chabad will host three public menorah lighting events across the Rogue Valley, starting with a 4:30 p.m. celebration Thursday, Dec. 7, with a 10-foot Hanukkah menorah on Ashland Plaza. Another menorah lighting will be hosted in downtown Medford’s Vogel Plaza at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, and the third celebration will be in Grants Pass’ Riverside Park at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, featuring Grants Pass Mayor Sara Bristol.

The menorah-lighting events are open to all regardless of religion, ethnicity or any other factor.

Hanukkah symbolizes “a message of positivity and the hope of a better future, with the message of the light of the menorah bringing more light into the world,” said Rabbi Avi Zwiebel of the Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon. “That’s the message of Hanukkah, doing more aspects of kindness.”

In Ashland, the grand menorah lighting will include festivities beyond the lighting ceremony.

“There will be a lot of fun activities and games and crafts,” Zwiebel said. “We’ll have music and the traditional food of Hanukkah like the latke with pancakes and doughnuts as well.”

The Chabad will also hold its annual Children’s Hanukkah Fair from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 10, a pop-up Hanukkah gift shop from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, Dec. 3-7, and community deli party with an array of food to eat — from matzo ball soup to authentic New York pastrami sandwiches. The Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon is at 1474 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

Due to the recent rise of antisemitism, security will be present at the Ashland menorah lighting and other Chabad events to ensure the safety of attendees.

“We’ve had (security) in the past but want to make sure people are not afraid to come; it’s a special precaution,” Zweibel said.

To learn more about Hanukkah events being hosted by the Chabad, visit chabadofashland.org/Chanukah2023.

Reach reporter James Sloan at jsloan@rv-times.com. This story first appeared in the Rogue Valley Times.

Related story: Ashland rabbi responds to hate speech incident: ‘It actually gives us more resolve

Local celebrations
Pop-up Hanukkah Gift Shop: Stop by for all your Hanukkah needs, including candles, menorahs, dreidels, gifts and more, from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, Dec. 3-7, at the Chabad of Southern Oregon, 1474 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. More information: Chabadofashland.org/Chanukah2023 or call 541-482-2778.
Ashland Hanukkah Celebration: The Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon will hold its 20th annual Hanukkah celebration on the first night of Hanukkah at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, on the Ashland Plaza. The festivities will include local dignitaries, the Great Chocolate Coin Drop, live music, latkes and doughnuts for sale, singing of traditional Hanukkah songs and more. More information: Chabadofashland.org/Chanukah2023 or call 541-482-2778.
Hanukkah Fest: The Havurah Synagogue will host its annual Hanukkah Faire at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the synagogue, 185 N. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Hot potato latkes, a traditional Hanukkah treat, will be for sale with all the trimmings. The festivities include children’s activities such as Hanukkah menorah-making, beeswax candle rolling and dreidel games. Rabbi David Zaslow will lead the communal candle lighting and songs (everyone is invited to bring their own menorah), followed by a Hanukkah story by master storyteller Debra Zaslow. The fair is open to all. Admission is a suggested donation $2, $10 per family. For further details, call 541-488-7716.
Children’s Hanukkah Fair: Chabad of Southern Oregon will host a Children’s Hanukkah Fair from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 10, at Chabad of Southern Oregon, 1474 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Kids of all ages can make their own Western Wall menorah, decorate doughnuts, play games, including a dreidel playoff and more. More information: Chabadofashland.org/Chanukah2023 or call 541-482-2778.
Hanukkah Community Party: The Chabad Jewish Center will hold a community Hanukkah Party starting 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at the Chabad Center, 1474 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Authentic New York pastrami and corned beef sandwiches will be served, along with latkes, donuts, matzah ball soup and kugel. Also look for Hanukkah music, games and lighting of a menorah. Registration is required; security will be present. For further information or to register, see chabadofashland.org/Chanukah2023 or call 541-482-2778.

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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