Ohio Governor Mike DeWine made a special trip to celebrate Chanukah with shluchim from around the state and attend a menorah lighting, in a move that is being called “unprecedented”.
Photos: Lorn Spolter
Chabad Rabbis from the entire state of Ohio joined Governor Mike DeWine for the fifth night of Chanukah menorah lighting ceremony at the Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center.
It is unprecedented for a Governor and First Lady to leave the governor’s mansion to attend a Menorah lighting at a Chabad House.
Governor DeWine has a special place in his heart for the Jewish community and particularly for Chanukah, as his father was part of the liberation of Dachau concentration camp and Chanukah is a celebration for yidden to practice yiddishkeit, and to add in light and goodness in the world.
Over a dozen Rabbis representing the 26 Chabad outposts in Ohio participated in the festivities. Rabbi Shalom Ber Chaikin from Cleveland made the blessings and lit the five candles with the Shamesh.
“Our Governor is the Shamesh that lights up all our lives in the great state of Ohio. He’s banishing the ugliness of anti-semitism, hate and bigotry and helping us to light the way for unity, peace and harmony. Thank G-d, now over 2,000 years later, the world has come a long way,” added Rabbi Aryeh Kaltmann.
Governor DeWine said, “As the Rabbi said, we denounce hate but we also have to be vigilant. We have to understand that for whatever reasons we do see antisemitism. (And) the letter I wrote to the college presidents was just that warning that we all have to be vigilant and we all need to do, frankly, what we need to do.”
Below: Shluchim pictured with Governor DeWine, L-R: Rabbi Shmuel Klatzkin, Dayton OH;Rabbi Moshe Gancz, Cleveland OH; Rabbi Yosef Kalmenson, Mason OH; Rabbi Areyah Kaltmann, Columbus OH; Governor Mike DeWine; Rabbi Sholom Ber Chaikin, Cleveland OH; Rabbi Yossi Shemtov, Toledo OH; Rabbi Mordechai Mendelson, Cleveland OH ; Senator Jay Hottinger; Howie Beigelman, Executive Director of Ohio Jewish Communities; Rabbi Yitzi Kaltmann and Rabbi Shea Kaltmann. Not present in the photo: Rabbi Levi Andrusier, Columbus OH; Rabbi Levi Raichik, Athens OH.