Chabad of Paso Robles will light Hanukkah menorah at the Paso Robles Downtown City Park on Dec. 18
PASO ROBLES — Chabad of Paso Robles will light a nine-foot public Hanukkah menorah at the Paso Robles Downtown City Park on Dec. 18, the first night of the eight-day Festival of Lights. The community will be joined by Mayor Martin, who will be attending, and the event will feature hot soup and latkes, live music, and activities for children. Complimentary Hanukkah menorahs and candles will be distributed as well for participants to light at home.
“Everyone is especially excited about Hanukkah this year,” said Rabbi Meir Gordon, Co-Director of Chabad of Paso Robles. “People are preparing to celebrate with family and friends, to fill their homes with the light of Hanukkah, and there’s a palpable joy. The public Hanukkah celebration is about sharing this light and joy with the broader community, the entire Paso Robles, and across the North County and the North Coast.”
A Global Hanukkah Awareness Campaign
Hanukkah emphasizes that each and every individual has the unique power to illuminate the entire world. It was to encourage this profound idea that the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, launched the Hanukkah awareness campaign in 1973, of which Paso Robles’s public Hanukkah activities are a part of. The menorah faces the street, the Rebbe notes, and so bypassers immediately feel “the effect of the light, which illuminates the outside and the environment.” In the half-century since, the Rebbe’s campaign has brought Hanukkah into the mainstream and altered awareness and practice of the festival, returning what some mistakenly dismissed as a minor holiday to its roots as a public proclamation of the triumph of freedom over oppression and a mainstay of Jewish cultural and religious life.
Chabad-Lubavitch’s annual Hanukkah campaign has distributed millions of menorahs to Jews around the world, and erected thousands of public menorahs to share its universal message of light over darkness with humanity at large. This year’s Hanukkah campaign will be one of unprecedented light and joy, seeing Chabad reach 8 million Jews in more than 100 countries. For the first time in two years, energetic crowds will once again be gathering on streets and thoroughfares, in great metropolises and small towns alike, to participate in the more than 15,000 large public menorahs Chabad will place worldwide. Even as crowds gather again, the Hanukkah parades and drive-in events, that ensured safe events last year, will go on, and this year more than 6,500 Hanukkah menorah-topped cars will hit the road in Chabad menorah parades to share the Hanukkah message of hope and joy around the globe.
An estimated 10 million unique visitors will use the practical how-to guides and discover the many layers of meaning at Chabad.org’s popular Hanukkah.org website. Chabad will help bring the light and celebration of Hanukkah into homes everywhere by distributing approximately 64 million Hanukkah candles, more than 700,000 menorah kits, and 2.5 million holiday guides in 17 languages.
Chabad’s Growing Impact
This year’s Hanukkah campaign comes amid a growing awareness of Chabad-Lubavitch’s indelible impact on Jewish life. Pew Research Center’s 2020 survey of Jewish Americans showed that 38 percent of all American Jews have participated in Chabad activities and services, of whom more than 75 percent do not identify as Orthodox.
The menorah’s power is especially felt when it is lit with joy and enthusiasm, as it will be this year, with added appreciation for the blessing of being able to gather once again as a community and celebrating together.
Throughout the State of California, Chabad will be presenting scores of Hanukkah events and celebrations, including: public Menorah Lightings, Giant Menorahs made out of ice and lego, Menorah Parades, Latke Parties, Giant Dreidel Houses, “Chanukah Wonderlands” and more. To find a local event in California, or practically anywhere throughout the world, visit the international Hanukkah event directory at ChabadPaso.com/HanukkahEvents.
For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events, visit ChabadPaso.com/Hanukkah.