The Chabad House will host Asheville’s largest Chanukah celebration, its annual community-wide holiday event, CHANUKAH LIVE 2012, on the fourth night of Chanukah, December 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Renaissance Hotel, 31 Woodfin Street, downtown Asheville. The Billy Jonas Chanukah Show and Grand Menorah lighting ceremony will be held at 6:30 PM. This event is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend. Admission is free of charge; tickets will be sold at the door for food and attractions.
This year’s Giving Menorah is co-sponsored by members of the Jewish Leadership Collaborative of Asheville. The 8-foot Giving Menorah will be constructed of hundreds of children’s toys, books, and games raised during Chabad’s holiday toy drive, which will then be donated to Mission Children’s Hospital and to Jewish children in need within the community. Representatives from each participating organization will be given the honor of lighting the branches. From now through Dec. 10, Chabad is accepting donations of children’s toys, books, and games to its location, 660 Merrimon Ave. Donors may also make a tax deductible donation to the Chabad House specifically for the Giving Menorah.
Of the many attractions at this year’s event, Chanukah Live will host the Billy Jonas Chanukah Show, active children’s and toddler’s play areas, holiday crafts and games, a Kosher buffet dinner including latkes and donuts, an adult wine bar, Chanukah and Judaica shopping boutiques, a chance to meet and take a photo with Judah the Maccabi, music and dancing, and a special Chanukah choir by Chabad Hebrew School of the Arts.
Chanukah begins this year on the eve of Dec. 8 and lasts through Dec. 16. “Chanukah reminds us that just a little bit of light can defeat an empire of darkness, human goodness can defy terror and brute force, and life and spiritual vitality can overcome destruction,” says Rabbi Shaya Susskind, Executive Director of the Chabad House, the Asheville-WNC branch of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
New for 2012, the Chabad House will lead several of the attendees to the event by way of a Grand Car Menorah Procession. Participating cars will line up at the Chabad House at 4:00 p.m., and at 4:30 p.m. will drive to the Renaissance Hotel in a festive procession.
A grand raffle drawing will take place near the end of the event. Winners will take home one of several valuable prizes. Raffle tickets are currently available for purchase at the Chabad House for $2, and will also be available at the event.
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people, over the mighty forces of an enemy that had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life, prohibit religious freedom, and force the Jewish people to accept a foreign religion. Today, to people of all faiths, the Chanukah holiday serves as a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.
CHANUKAH LIVE! is a program of the Chabad House, co-sponsored by Friends of the Chabad House. For more information about CHANUKAH LIVE, or to RSVP, volunteer, or sponsor, please call the Chabad House at (828) 505-0746, or visit www.chabadasheville.org.