Whether you spell it Hanukkah or Chanukah, the lighting of the first candle of the Menorah sheds light upon the darkness of the world. This celebration is one of survival, commemorating the re-dedication of the ancient Israeli temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees, after its desecration by the Syrians. Hanukkah also carries the traditional belief that somehow a one-day supply of purified oil miraculously burned for eight days, until a new supply could reach the temple in Jerusalem. While some believers choose to focus upon the victory and others celebrate the miracle, all see the Menorah and its eight candles as a symbol of hope and life. Las Vegas has its own Chanukah traditions, including some public celebrations that share the annual lighting with all members of the community, while others are ways for the Jewish community to celebrate their traditions with family and friends.
JFSA’s Fifth Annual Lighting of the Menorah
Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
6300 W. Oakey Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Date: Dec. 21, 2014
Opportunity Village and the JFSA host one of the largest Hanukkah celebrations in Las Vegas, as Christmas and Hanukkah combine to feature a celebration of lights at Opportunity Village. 2014 is the fifth annual lighting of the Jewish Family Service Agency’s Menorah at the Magical Forest, beginning on Sunday, December 21 at 5 p.m. As part of a fundraiser, you can see your name in lights on the Menorah by making a donation to this worthy cause. The only cost is for parking and for general admission to the Forest and all are welcome. The event is held at the new open air theater, featuring children’s choirs from local Jewish day schools and synagogues.
Fremont Street Grand Menorah
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Date: Dec. 17, 2014 (tentative)
Every first night of Hanukkah, the Grand Menorah is lit on Fremont Street at sunset. The celebration is attended by Mayor Goodman, dignitaries and rabbis, and features choirs, traditional music and treats. The date for this event has tentatively been set for December 17, 2014, so please join in on the symbolic sharing of the light with the entire community. Check the calendar for more details as the date approaches.
Chabad of Green Valley Menorah Lighting
The District @ GVR
2225 Village Walk Drive
Henderson, NV 89052
Date: Dec. 17, 2014
The annual lighting of the menorah at The District at Green Valley Ranch is a highly anticipated local event in Henderson. It features music, dancing, presiding dignitaries, donuts, gelt and, of course, the lighting of the menorah at sunset. The lighting has come to be a highlight of the holiday season and is a way to combine both Christian and Jewish festivities within the unique grounds of this beautiful shopping district. Cost is free.
Chabad of Summerlin
2640 Regatta Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89128
The Chabad of Summerlin is hosting several special events around Chanukah. These include Oil Jar Decorating, where attendees can decorate their own oil jar while learning insights about Chanukah. Refreshments will be served. Chabad of Summerlin is also planning a Chanukah Party, which is always fun for the entire family. Latkes and donuts will be served. Please check the website for dates and details.
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Sharon Damon is a preschool specialist, avid reader, passionate writer and creative baker/ cook. She has been a cooking instructor at a local Rec Center in Henderson, NV since 2011, and has written for Examiner and other publications since 2010. She knows her way around the keyboard and the kitchen! Sharon moved from a small city in Canada to Las Vegas 6 years ago, to marry the love of her life, and has since been swept up in the whirlwind known as Sin City. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.