This year’s communitywide menorah lighting and Hanukkah celebration will have an artistic flair. The 9-foot menorah itself, inspired by Lawrence’s unique arts culture, will be made of artwork and put together by members of the community.
The outdoor lighting ceremony, organized by the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, is set for 5 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St. After the lighting, the celebration will move indoors for music, latkes, gifts and other festivities.
Chabad Center Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel and city, county and state dignitaries are expected to attend and share words of greetings. This year’s motto is “Light Up the Night!” — envisioned to kindle a flame and shine light in the face of current world events from Superstorm Sandy to the conflict in the Middle East.
“The concept of a collective art menorah is perfect, as the message of Hanukkah is one of hope in the face of extreme adversity,” Tiechtel said in a news release. “It’s a message with broad appeal to everyone who believes in religious freedom, that faith and determination can triumph against even the most overwhelming odds.”
Chabad Center has planned two other public Hanukkah events.
A Hanukkah Festabowl for Kansas University students is planned for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kansas Union. The event will feature a menorah lighting, free bowling and food.
An Olive Press Workshop and Hanukkah Story Hour will take place at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14 at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. Children and families can pit fresh olives and squeeze and refine olive oil like the Macabees did in the Hanukkah story.