Celebrating Chanukah

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

Main Street Vineland will join the Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Salem & Gloucester Counties in the celebration of Chanukah—the Jewish “Festival of Lights”—with a Chanukah menorah lighting—“Chanukah Live”—on the 600 block of Landis Avenue, across from Landis MarketPlace, on Monday, December 19, at 6 p.m.

The lighting of the Chanukiyah (Chanukah menorah), the largest in South Jersey, is organized by the Jewish Federation and the ceremony will include music, dancing, holiday refreshments, and fellowship. Main Street Vineland has incorporated this Vineland Jewish holiday tradition into its schedule of events for the holiday season.

The menorah lit in downtown Vineland was constructed by Kane Steel, of Millville, in 1994. It has been a fixture over the years at various Vineland locations for Chanukah and has been situated for the past six years at the site of the former Precision Watch and Clock building on the 600 block of Landis Avenue. The business was owned by the late Leon Zylberman, a Holocaust survivor.

“Vineland has a rich history of many cultures, with the Jewish culture having deep roots here. I am happy and proud that we can use occasions like this to honor and recognize the many faiths and cultures that come together at this time of year,” said Main Street Vineland Executive Director Russell Swanson. “I hope that people of all faiths and creeds can come together on The Ave for the commemoration of this holiday.”

This Chanukah lighting will be in memory of the late Rabbi Yisroel Rapoport of Sons of Jacob Congregation, who was the guiding force behind the construction of the menorah and was instrumental in establishing the annual “Chanukah Live” outdoor menorah-lighting ceremonies in Vineland for more than two decades.

“A little light dispels much darkness,” Rabbi Rapoport once said. “The menorah—which Jews light in their homes each Chanukah throughout the world—lights up our lives.”

For more information on this event, call the Jewish Federation office at 856-696-4445.

For more information on all Main Street Vineland events, call the Main Street Vineland office at 856-794-8653, visit the organization’s website at TheAve.biz, or visit the organization’s Facebook page.

On the Ave