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Hanukkah kicks off in Downtown SLO with annual menorah lighting

Posted at 9:36 PM, Nov 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 03:11:51-05

Nov. 28 marks the first night of Hanukkah, and community members are celebrating in Downtown SLO at the annual public menorah lighting.

Hanukkah Downtown has been happening for the past 30 years as a partnership between both the Old Mission of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and the local Jewish community.

The first night of Hanukkah festivities were put on by the Jewish Community Center SLO with families enjoying making candy menorahs, sweets and treats, dreidel spinning contests, and prayers. Sunday night's first candle was lit by new San Luis Obispo mayor, Erica Stewart.

"It's truly a special experience," said JCC manager Bobby Naimark. "Being involved with the JCC and having Hanukkah Downtown be one of our signature programs, it brings us altogether and that's really what our mission and vision is all about."

Hanukkah Downtown continues through Dec. 5, with a different local Jewish organization hosting each candle lighting at 5 p.m. every night in front of the Mission.

"Everybody can come, and we encourage families and friends of all kinds all different religions and faiths to come and celebrate with us," said Naimark.

Here is the full Candle-Lighting schedule for Hanukkah Downtown provided by JCCSLO, including each hosting organization:

  • Sunday, November 28th - JCC-Federation of SLO and Festivities: Words from new San Luis Obispo Mayor, Erica Stewart
  • Monday, November 29th - Bend the Arc: San Luis Obispo
  • Tuesday, November 30th - Congregation Beth David with Cantorial Soloist, Mark Getten
  • Wednesday, December 1st - Temple Beth El
  • Thursday, December 2nd - Temple Ner Shalom and San Luis Obispo Hillel with Rabbi Micah Hyman
  • Friday, December 3rd - Youth Night with Leah Matthys
  • Saturday, December 4th - Congregation Ohr Tzafon with Rabbi Janice Mehring
  • Sunday, December 5th - Candle Lighting led by Morro Bay Councilmember, Dawn Addis

For those who cannot attend the candle lighting ceremony, the JCC will be live-streaming the event on the JCC-Federation of SLO Facebook page each night.

More information on the annual menorah lighting can be found here.