The World’s Largest Menorah – a New York City icon and one of the world’s premier menorahs– was erected at its annual home, on 5th Ave and 59th St. on Wednesday morning.
The World’s Largest Menorah – a New York City icon and one of the world’s premier menorahs– was erected at its annual home, on 5th Ave and 59th St. in front of the Plaza Hotel, on Wednesday morning. At this fraught time for Jews–with rising antisemitism and war in Israel–the menorah is set to brighten up the city and the world when it is lit each night of Chanukah.
With the recent surge of antisemitic incidents following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, organizers expect this year’s festivities to be even larger and brighter than ever, as New Yorkers embrace Chanukah’s message of light and hope and ensure that hate will never win. Instead of hiding, in the face of antisemitism Jews are doubling down on their identity and observance. Instead of hiding, in the face of antisemitism Jews are doubling down on their identity and observance, choosing instead to more visibly celebrate their identity this Hanukkah with more confidence and resolve.
Historic Menorah & New York Tradition
Throughout the eight-day holiday, which begins this year on the evening of Thu, Dec. 7, New Yorkers and visitors to the city will join the nightly lightings of the towering 36-foot menorah—certified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest. The menorah was designed by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam and inspired by a hand drawing by Rambam of the original menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
Organized by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, the event will feature a public menorah-lighting ceremony, live music–including a concert on Monday, Dec. 12 featuring singer Eli Marcus–spirited Chassidic dancing and Chanukah treats.
Dignitaries and public officials are expected to attend the nightly lighting, including the mayor, governor among others.
“This year’s celebration will be even bigger and more comprehensive than we’ve done before,” organizers said. “At such a crucial moment in our people’s history, with the war in Israel, and rising antisemitism, we are resolute in celebrating Hanukkah at the World’s Largest Menorah with the people of New York, and showing the world even a little light can overcome much darkness.”
A New York Tradition
The annual New York City tradition is part of the worldwide Hanukkah Awareness campaign, an initiative launched 50 years ago in 1973 by the Rebbe.
In the half-century since the campaign began, it has revitalized widespread observance of the Festival of Lights and brought it to the American mainstream. returning what some have mistakenly dismissed as a minor holiday to its roots as a public proclamation of the ultimate triumph of light over darkness and freedom over oppression.
Today, the unprecedented public display of Chanukah has become a staple of Jewish life and American culture, forever altering the practice and awareness of the festival. This year, Chabad-Lubavitch will set up more than 15,000 large public menorahs in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House in Washington, D.C.; the Eiffel Tower in Paris; and Trafalgar Square in London.