Chabad of Chattanooga will ignite a giant ice Hanukkah menorah erected at Ice on the Landing, followed by a community-wide celebration on Thursday, the fifth night of the eight-day holiday. The ceremony, organized by Chabad Rabbi Shaul Perlstein, will begin with a 25 menorah topped car parade. The parade will begin at Coolidge park and head over the Market Street Bridge, and then down Market Street to the Ice on the Landing at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Following the parade will be a Chanukah on Ice celebration featuring the kindling of the menorah by Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. Following the menorah lighting ceremony, hundreds will skate, sing and eat the night away while enjoying traditional latkes and jelly doughnuts.
“The menorah serves as a symbol of Chattanooga's dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship God freely, openly, and with pride," said Rabbie Perlstein. "This is true especially in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution."
"I want my kids to grow up with pride in their Jewish heritage and a feeling of equality and self-confidence as Americans,” said Mr. Cohen of Chattanooga, who is looking forward to attending the public menorah lighting. “Chabad’s Hanukkah menorahs are arguably one of the most important developments ever to help my child’s education. I wish they had this where I grew up.”
The menorah lighting is part of the worldwide Hanukkah campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicizing the story of the Hanukkah miracle.
“The message of Hanukkah is the message of light,” said Rosie Perlstein. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”
Today, the unprecedented public display of Hanukkah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and awareness of the festival, said officials. Chattanooga's menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin, helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message
Throughout Tennessee, Chabad will be presenting several Hanukkah events and celebrations, including public menorah lightings, giant menorahs made out of ice and lego, menorah parades, latke parties, and more. To find a local event in Tennessee, or practically anywhere throughout the world, visit the international Hanukkah event directory at www.JewishChatt.com/HanukkahEvents.
For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events visit Jewishchatt.com/Hanukkah.