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San Luis Obispo celebrates first night of Hanukkah with annual ceremony

Posted at 7:53 PM, Dec 10, 2020

The San Luis Obispo Jewish community began Hanukkah with their annual tradition of lighting the public menorah outside of the Old Mission Thursday night.

Organizers with the JCC-Federation say all community members are invited to join on the eight nights of Hanukkah, however it is a COVID responsible event with safety guidelines in place. Masks and social distancing required. Only 10 participants will be allowed around the menorah while being lit. Additional guests are welcome in the Mission Plaza.

The first night's candle was lit in memory of San Luis Obispo County Board Supervisor Adam Hill. Hill passed away in August and he spent the past five years lighting the first night's public menorah candle.

A votive glass was etched with Adam Hill's name. Organizers say this is rare and it is the first etched votive out of the eight that are lit. The leader candle also has an etching on it. That candle was used last year for the first time for Cambria resident Norman Stone who had attended every lighting in the past.

The next seven nights will be led by various area congregations and Jewish organizations. The eighth night is youth night and area families are encouraged to attend, if possible per COVID regulations.

For those who cannot attend the lighting ceremony, the JCC will be live-streaming the event here.