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Menorah lightings have become a local tradition

Happy Hanukkah, Jewish Holiday Background. Vector Illustration. Hanukkah is the name of the Jewish holiday. EPS10

ASHLAND — Eight days of Hanukkah celebration commence Sunday at 4 p.m. on the Plaza in downtown Ashland with Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon’s annual menorah lighting.

A Grants Pass menorah lighting is scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. in the Waterfront Pavilion at Riverside Park, and a Medford menorah lighting will take place Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Vogel Plaza in downtown Medford. On the last night of Hanukkah, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, a final lighting will conclude festivities on the Ashland Plaza.

In each city, a display of a 10-foot menorah and accompanying activities represent the “universal message that ultimately good will prevail over evil, freedom over oppression and light over darkness,” said Rabbi Avi Zwiebel. “Hanukkah is a holiday that enriches our lives with the light of tradition.”

Hanukkah menorah lighting events in Southern Oregon have organically developed into annual community-wide celebrations, according to the Chabad Jewish Center, drawing in residents each year for the music, dancing, food and “uplifting message of the Hanukkah light.” The events welcome people of all faiths and ethnicities.

A community party at the Chabad Jewish Center in Ashland is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 1474 Siskiyou Blvd., with a suggested donation at the door. Planned activities include a dreidel game and homemade latke bar. Reservations can be made by calling 541-482-2778.

A “music and movement” children’s event with music, dancing, puppets, crafts and treats will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5.

At Temple Emek Shalom, Rabbi Julie Benioff will host a family Hanukkah celebration Sunday via Zoom with songs, storytelling and candle lighting starting at 4 p.m., followed by blessings and second night candle lighting from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Monday. Email office@emekshalom.org for Zoom links.

Havurah Synagogue has planned a musical celebration on the eighth night of Hanukkah, Sunday, Dec. 5, featuring singer, songwriter and musical director Achi Ben Shalom, candle lighting, songs and storytelling. Register for the Zoom link at havurahshirhadash.org.