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Chabad Center for Jewish Life lights the menorah for the start of Hanukkah

The Moshav Band, Duvid Swirsky, Eitan Phillips, Yehuda Solomon and Kiel Feher at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.
The Moshav Band, Duvid Swirsky, Eitan Phillips, Yehuda Solomon and Kiel Feher entertain an audience at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.
(Spencer Grant)

Hanukkah is here as of Sunday, heralding the start of the holiday season, and was observed in Newport Beach with the lighting of a menorah at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

The Jewish cultural center lit the first candle Sunday night, and similar celebrations were held throughout Orange County to mark the first of eight nights associated with the holiday. One candle will be lit on the menorah each night through next Monday as part of the Festival of Lights.

The celebration at the Chabad Center included the attendance of Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Seal Beach) and performances from the Moshav Band and the Corona del Mar High School drumline.

Rabbi Reuben Mintz completes the lighting of the menorah.
Rabbi Reuben Mintz completes the lighting of the menorah at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.
(Spencer Grant)

Gelt was dropped from a Newport Beach fire engine, and other offerings such as arts and crafts, face painting and balloon animals were available at the celebration.

Some attendees brought gifts for a community toy drive for distribution to children in need.

“It is a holiday that enriches our lives and strengthens our tradition,” said Rabbi Reuven Mintz of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in a statement. “In ancient times, our ancestors rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem.”

“Today, we rededicate ourselves to making this world a better and brighter place. Hanukkah also transmits the universal message that ultimately good will prevail over evil, freedom over oppression and light over darkness,” said Mintz.

An eager crowd anticipates favors dropped from a Newport Beach Fire Department fire truck.
An eager crowd anticipates favors dropped from a Newport Beach Fire Department fire truck ladder.
(Spencer Grant)

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