EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Chabad Lubavitch of El Paso is hosting a Hanukkah menorah lighting Thursday, December 7, 2023.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the Chabad Lubavitch Center for Jewish Life on the 6500 block of Escondido Drive in West El Paso. Attendees will enjoy matzah ball soup and latkes. Admission is free.
El Paso City Representative Brian Kennedy will light the tallest candle, marking the first night of Hanukkah, on the giant outdoor menorah. The center expects a larger crowd than usual this year.
"It’s a fraught time for the Jewish people, with war in Israel and American Jews facing a major rise in antisemitism," a center spokesperson wrote in a news release Monday. "In the past, before Oct. 7, many Jews’ response to frightening developments of antisemitism may have been to hide their Jewishness, but the post-Oct. 7 Jewish communal response has bucked all precedents. Jews are choosing instead to celebrate their identity this Hanukkah with more confidence and resolve."
The center's "Chanukah Playland" is also making a celebratory return this year. Happening Sunday, December 10, 2023 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m., families are invited to enjoy inflatable rides, bungee jumping, train rides, crafts, games, dinner, and treats.
Families looking to attend the playland are asked to RSVP.
Jewish people across the world celebrate Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, every year. This year, the celebrations begin the evening of December 7 and end the evening of December 15. The holiday marks the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in ancient Israel.