Menorah Lighting At Penn State Celebrates Chanukah
Chabad of Penn State hosted the university’s 18th annual menorah lighting on the University Park campus on Wednesday.
Four members of Penn State’s Jewish community each lit a candle on a 12-foot menorah outside of the Old Main building in celebration of the fourth night of Chanukah. Penn State President Eric Barron attended and lit the servant candle in the middle of the menorah.
Last month, the menorah at the university’s Zeta Beta Tau fraternity was vandalized.
Speaking to those at the event, Barron emphasized his support for the free expression of religious beliefs and said he is heartened by the unity of the community.
“These are challenging times for communities of faith and particularly for the Jewish community and everyone who cherishes their own personal rights of worship,” Barron said.
In a statement released Saturday Penn State said, “This vandalism occurred only a month after the deadliest recorded attack of Jews on United States soil. We share in the feelings of hurt expressed by many members of our community. Today, and every day, we stand united with our Jewish friends, neighbors and colleagues.”
Rabbi Nosson Meretsky, director of Chabad of Penn State, said the celebration feels even more meaningful this year, in light of the mass shooting that happened at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue.
“In general, Chanukah is adding light to the darkness. But when the darkness is redoubled, then you have to redouble the light. So that’s what we’re doing here,” Meretsky said.
This year Chanukah is December 2-10.