Chanukah was commemorated in Livermore by more than 60 people with the lighting of a 9-foot-tall menorah in front of the Bankhead Theater. “Chanukah Under The Stars,” celebrating the Jewish Festival of Lights, has become an annual event for people of all ages. The Dec. 28 fete marked the event’s 12th year.
“Livermore’s menorah lighting is an annual highlight for the Tri-Valley’s Jewish community,” said Rabbi Raleigh Resnick, spiritual leader of Chabad of the Tri-Valley. “Chanukah reminds us that our little light of holiness and kindness can defeat an empire of darkness, and human goodness can defy terror.”
The first of the eight candles on the menorah was lighted by Mayor John Marchand. “This is the season when people of faith come together to celebrate miracles and to celebrate light,” he said. “Let us remember and reflect that we are all children of Abraham and a family of mankind. To everyone, Happy Chanukah.”
Members of the Jewish faith then lighted the remaining seven candles, each of which represented a night of Chanukah.
“Honoring the celebration here with friends enhances the beauty of this sacred holiday,” said Sonya Gividen of Livermore.
Traditional Jewish foods, such as potato latkes and sufganiyah, donuts filled with jam or custard, were available. Children joyously played with glow-in-the-dark Hanukkah lights.
During the celebration, San Francisco singer and song writer Achi Ben Shalom provided musical entertainment with Jewish songs. At the start of hora dance music, groups including council members Trish Munro and Marchand formed circles and danced while onlookers clapped in time to the music.
“What a heartwarming and beautiful event for families,” said Lynne Reich, who was visiting from Michigan.