Portland's 31st Public Menorah to be joined by Lego Menorah and Toy Drive (Photo)
On the first night of Chanukah, Tuesday December 16th in Director park Chabad of Oregon will light Portland's Public Menorah for the 31st year . This year the Public Menorah will be joined by a large Menorah made out of Legos and a Toy Drive benefiting children at Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.
Chabad of Oregon, Jewish Family & Child Service and Randall Children's Hospital are partnering to bring this festive, family event filled with food, music and toys to Portland.
In addition to the Lego Menorah and Toy Drive this year's celebration brings added significance as Portland joins thousands of communities worldwide in marking 40 years since the first public menorah which was lit at the Liberty Bell in 1974. Today, that unprecedented public display of Chanukah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and perception of the festival.
"Randall Children's Hospital is very excited to be a part of this celebration and grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Jewish community. We have been caring for children in our community since 1960, and understand the importance of relationships, especially during the holidays. The community's generous gift of new toys helps to spread joy and light and brings smiles to the faces of our patients who cannot be at home with their families during Chanukah," says Dr. Dena Ross, medical director of Randall Children's Pediatric Care.
"The message of Chanukah is that a little light could shed much darkness. Through partnering with Randall Hospital we hope to bring light, warmth and joy to the children it serves," says Rabbi Motti Wilhelm of Chabad of Oregon.
Throughout Oregon, Chabad will be presenting scores of Chanukah events and celebrations, including public menorah lightings, giant menorahs made out of ice and Legos, menorah parades, latkes parties, giant dreidel houses, "Chanukah Wonderlands" and more.
To find a local event in Oregon and practically anywhere throughout the world, visit www.ChabadOregon.com/ChanukahEvents.
For more on the history of the public menorah visit http://www.ChabadOregon.com/2778619.
Rabbi Motti Wilhelm is available for media interviews.
What: First Night at Director Park: Lego Menorah and Toy Drive
Where: Director Park, 815 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR
When: Tuesday December 16, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Lego Menorah building, music and food
5:30 p.m.Menorah lighting and remarks from Rabbi Motti Wilhelm and Dr. Dena Ross
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people who defeated a ruthless enemy that had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life, prohibit religious freedom and force the Jewish people to accept a foreign religion. During the occupation of Jerusalem and the Temple, the Syrian Greeks desecrated and defiled the oils prepared for the lighting of the Menorah, which was part of the daily service in the temple. Upon recapturing the Temple from the Syrian Greeks, the Jewish people found only one jar of undefiled oil, enough to burn only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight days until new, pure olive oil was produced. In commemoration of this event, the Jewish people celebrate Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a Menorah. The Menorah is placed in highly-visible place to publicize the miracle, with its message of hope and religious freedom, to all. Today, people of all faiths consider the Chanukah holiday as a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.
About Chabad of Oregon
Chabad of Oregon offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations. For more information, contact Rabbi Motti Wilhelm at 503.977.9947 and RabbiMotti@ChabadOregon.com
or visit www.ChabadOregon.com