Dozens of Rockaway residents, many of them elderly, joined together to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, on Tuesday night. The community menorah, maintained by all of the synagogues on the west end of the peninsula, stands at Beach 116 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The menorah was first donated to Rockaway by a Florida synagogue in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Participants got ‘Hanukkah gelt,’ hot chocolate and donuts.
Many of the participants enjoyed singing Hanukkah songs.
Rabbi Slome of West End Temple helps kids flip the switch to light the first candle.
Participants gather around the menorah, awaiting the big moment when the first candles are lit.
Local Rabbis Alan Blaine and Marjorie Slome join with Councilman Phillip Goldfeder in welcoming the participants.
Goldfeder speaks with one of his constituents.
Both the Shamus Candle and the first night candle were lit by the local kids.