Annual Menorah in the D celebration to be held December 22 in Campus Martius Park

Annual Menorah in the D celebration to be held December 22 in Campus Martius Park
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The 9th annual Menorah in the D celebration will take place December 22 starting at 4:30 p.m. in Campus Martius Park. Family activities run from 4:30-5 p.m., followed by the official public lighting of a steel and glass menorah at 5 p.m.

Thousands of children, families and individuals from Oakland, Wayne and Detroit are expected to attend the celebration, which marks the first night of Chanukah. Photo Credit: Olga Gamburg

Thousands of children, families and individuals from Oakland, Wayne and Detroit are expected to attend the celebration of the Festival of Lights for the communitywide menorah lighting to mark the first night of Chanukah.

The menorah was designed and built by artists (and brothers) Erik Nordin and Israel Nordin of Detroit Design Center in Corktown

The celebration will feature:

  • Strolling street performers, face painting and balloon sculpting
  • Marshmallow roasting pits, complimentary snack bar including KIND bars, hot soup and cider, plus a Kosher food truck with food for purchase
  • Glow in the dark giveaways, mitzvah station and more

All the activities, entertainment, snacks and hot cider during the menorah ceremony are free. The food truck has food for sale.

During the ceremony eight individuals will be recognized as Torchbearers. The honorees were nominated by members of the community and selected for the light they bring to those around them.

Nick Gilbert, the 22-year-old son of Dan and Jennifer Gilbert, will represent the Gilbert Foundation. Nick suffers from neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to grow anywhere on the body at any time. Last year, he successfully underwent brain surgery to help temper the condition. The committee sees Nick’s positive attitude and kindness as something to emulate.

Other Torchbearers include:

  • Ryan Hertz, MSW, president & CEO Lighthouse, who was honored as a Crain’s 40 Under 40 where he expressed his passion to share best practices among the nonprofits using the crowdfunding campaign benefiting homeless services agencies
  • Scott Kaufman, immediate past executive director, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Itty Nina Yahalomi, senior community shlicha and Federation’s community outreach developer, which assist in building bridges between Israel and the Detroit community
  • Gary Sikorski, director of community-wide security, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Jessica Katz, a fellow with the Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship (RIG) in Global Jewish Leadership through The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
  • Joey Roberts, supporter of Friendship Circle
All the activities, entertainment, snacks and hot cider during the Menorah in the D ceremony are free. The food truck has food for sale.

“We take strength from the menorah, always increasing in light, as the best possible way to combat the darkness that swirls around us,” says Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov, spiritual director and founder of The Shul-Chabad Lubavitch in West Bloomfield. “The menorah being placed in the heart of the City of Detroit is a reminder to us all that we should continually work to illuminate the world around us. With that in mind, the other Torchbearers share that spirit of shining light in the Jewish community through their work.

“Like a flaming candle, all you need to do is touch another person with an act of kindness and sincerity and their flame will be ignited as well. One candle at a time, one soul at a time, the world becomes a brighter, warmer place.”

The Shul-Chabad Lubavitch West Bloomfield hosts Menorah in the D in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and Chabad of Greater Downtown Detroit along with support from Gilbert Foundation, DTE Energy, Beaumont and various other sponsors.

In past years more than 3,000 people have been a part of the celebratory event. The Menorah in the D is a family-friendly celebration free and open to the public.

To learn more, visit menorahinthed.com.

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