Mayor Karen Bass lights menorah at citywide Hanukkah ceremony

Mayor Karen Bass lights the Shamash of a menorah with community leaders.
Mayor Karen Bass lights the Shamash of a menorah with community leaders to mark the beginning of Hanukkah during the Chanukah Festival with West Coast Chabad.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Mayor Karen Bass and other community leaders celebrated the beginning of Hanukkah on Sunday, lighting the menorah at sundown at a citywide ceremony on L.A.’s Westside.

The ceremony, which began at 4:45 p.m., was held on Pico Boulevard between Doheny and Wetherly drives.

The lighting was part of a larger celebration that ran through the afternoon and featured a street fair, carnival and performances that include Benny Friedman, Yoni Z and the Cheder Menachem Boys Choir.


Pico was closed between Doheny and Livonia Avenue for the celebration, which was hosted by Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin and Chabad of California.

Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, is celebrated over eight nights and marks the Jews’ recapture and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BC, following their victory over the Syrians.

Chabad, a nonprofit group whose work is rooted in traditional Jewish values, offers programs to help needy people regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs. The organization’s representatives have joined with mayors and city officials to illuminate the menorah on Hanukkah each year since 1985.

Bass also attended a Hanukkah event Thursday in downtown Los Angeles, appearing with the Los Angeles County supervisors and other elected officials.

During that event, she spoke about growing up in the heavily Jewish Fairfax District and pledged to combat antisemitism in the city.

— Times staff writer Laura Newberry contributed to this report.