Dec. 8, 2023 By Melissa Fishman & Kirstyn Brendlen
More than 1,000 people gathered in Grand Army Plaza on Thursday night to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah by lighting the borough’s largest menorah.
The joyful celebration, filled with live music and fresh latkes and hot chocolate to ward off the December chill, was particularly meaningful, attendees said, as antisemitism has spiked in New York City and across the country as the war between Israel and Hamas rages on.
“We are excited to have UJA Federation, as part of the Shine the Light initiative, partner with Chabad of Park Slope on this large community public menorah lighting last night,” said Rebecca Saidlower, Executive Director of Community Mobilizers at the UJA Fedaration. This year more than ever it feels incredibly important to celebrate our Judaism publicly and proudly, with all the increased antisemitism going on, we’re not going to hide away in the darkness, we’re going to bring our light out into the city even more.”