Events help celebrate Hanukkah

Looking to the light

Over the eight days of Hanukkah, Jews in Augusta and worldwide will light candles on menorahs at home, in synagogues and at gatherings including Tuesday’s Menorah Lighting Celebration, an annual event at the Augusta Common.

It begins with a parade of cars bearing large, lighted menorahs. The cars will make their way down Washington Road before the start of the event at 6:30 p.m.

Participants in the free event will light a 7-foot menorah, sing Hanukkah songs and eat latkes.

The event also includes a pyrotechnic show and gifts for children in attendance.

“It is the first year for pyrotechnic,” said Rabbi Zalman Fischer of Chabad of Augusta, which has held an annual menorah lighting in Augusta for 15 years. “Hanukkah is all about adding light to the world and will try to incorporate a Hanukkah message in the show.”

Every year, Chabad of Augusta invites participants to collect items for an annual Hanukkah toy drive for hospitalized children.

It’s a way to share a bit of Hanukkah joy with the children at the Medical College of Georgia Children’s Medical Center, Fischer said.

The holiday celebrates the victory of the ancient Jews over Syrian Greeks who tried to wipe out Judaism in the second century B.C.

The word Hanukkah means “dedication.”

Lighting the menorah is a reminder of the miracle that occurred when it came time to rededicate the holy temple.

The Talmud records that the Jews found just enough oil to keep a fire burning one night. The lamp, however, burned for eight days.

This year, Hanukkah is celebrated from Dec. 20 to Dec. 28.

MENORAH LIGHTING

WHAT: Annual Hanukkah celebration featuring a menorah lighting, car menorah parade, Hanukkah songs, latkes, a pyrotechnic show and gifts for children, sponsored by Chabad of Augusta

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Augusta Common, between Eighth and Ninth streets on Broad Street

COST: Free

LEARN MORE: Call (706) 722-7659.

FAMILY CHANUKAH DINNER

WHAT: Dinner including roasted turkey, latkes, vegetables and dessert

WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Congregation Children of Israel, 3005 Walton Way Extension

COST: For guests, the cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children; reservations are required. There is no charge for congregants.

LEARN MORE: Call (706) 736-3140 for more information or to make a reservation.

HANUKKAH LATKE & SALMON DINNER

WHAT: Annual latke & salmon dinner; includes a contest for homemade menorahs. Prizes will be awarded in categories such as most unusual, most traditional and most creative use of materials.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Dec. 25

WHERE: Augusta Jewish Community Center, 898 Weinberger Way

COST: For guests, $15 for adults; $8 for children ages 4 to 12; free for children younger than 3 ($50 maximum per family). For members, $12 for adults; $6 for children ages 4 to 12; free for children younger than 3; ($35 maximum per family).

LEARN MORE: RSVP by calling (706) 228-3636.

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