The Jewish community in Hartford, CT, celebrated the first night of Chanukah with a party that included the lighting of a super-sized ice sculptured menorah, a kid’s art contest and live music from 8th Day.
The Jewish community in Hartford, CT, gathered for their yearly, Chanukah Fire on Ice celebration, which moved to a larger location this year to accommodate the growing attendance. This endeavor has invigorated efforts to spread even more light and Jewish pride in response to the recent uptick in antisemitism. The event featured a super-sized Ice sculptured Menorah, a special art contest for children and live music performed by 8th Day.
“Chanukah is a holiday of light and freedom, where few overcame the many, and light triumphed over darkness,” said Rabbi Shaya Gopin, “Reminding us that even when confronted with much darkness, a tiny light, an act of goodness and kindness, can dispel much darkness. Especially at a time when expressions of hate intimidate some, we need to strengthen our Jewish pride.”
The art contest entitled, “Be the light” encouraged children to create their own artistic rendition on the theme: “A little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness – I can be the light by spreading goodness!”
The objective was to encourage children to think about how they can make a difference in their environment and see themselves as ambassadors of light and goodness!
The art could be a painting, drawing, photograph, sculpture or cartoon, or art of any form. The first-place winner was given the opportunity to grace the cover of West Hartford Magazine
In addition, there was a light up wall where participants filled out a “flame” with a good deed they can add and put an actual (LED) light on the wall.
“For a child to celebrate publicly and proudly in the center of their town, has a great impact on a child’s identity and sense of Jewish pride,” said Rabbi Shaya Gopin. “This also says something about the beauty of our diverse town and community.”