Celebrating Hanukkah with family and friends
Chabad of Hewlett hosts holiday party at Grant Park
Yitzhak Carroll
The ice menorah was lit by Rabbi Nochem Tenenboim with an assist from the children.

Excitement was in the air at Chabad of Hewlett’s annual Hanukkah celebration at Grant Park in Hewlett, as celebrants commemorated the Festival of Lights on Dec. 3.

“Hanukkah is the holiday of lights, miracles, and warmth,” said Rabbi Nochem Tenenboim, director of Chabad of Hewlett. “We are trying to get everyone together to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah and our traditions.”

Children and adults played games, created arts and crafts projects, munched on donuts, latkes (potato pancakes), and hot soup. Children decorated menorahs and donuts, and played with dreidels. Celebrants ice skated in the park’s ice rink, as they enjoyed the holiday together. “My favorite part was the ice skating because it was so much fun,” said Sam Cota, 9, of Hewlett.

Participants danced in unity, and watched the giant five-foot menorah being carved out of a block of ice. County Legislator Francis Becker (R-Lynbrook) lit the menorah, as families joined together to celebrated the holiday.

Hanukkah, according to Jewish tradition, commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after a victory over the Syrian-Greeks in the second century BCE. It is celebrated for eight days, and observed with the kindling of a menorah, an eight-branched candelabrum that includes a ninth spot for the shamus candle that lights all the others.

Hewlett Bay Park Resident Anne Roffe enjoyed the celebration with her six children. “To me, Hanukkah means miracles that happened then, which we are remembering now,” she said. “Miracles happen every day; we just need to notice them in our daily lives.” Her daughter, Avigayil, 11, echoed her mother’s sentiments. “Hanukkah is my favorite holiday because I get to celebrate it with my family.”