Louisville Marks 40 Years of Chanukah in the Public Sphere

Chabad of Kentucky to Light Up One of 15,000 Public Menorahs Worldwide, Universal Symbol of Religious Freedom.

Louisville, KY, December 21, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Chabad of Kentucky will light a giant 16 foot menorah at Chanukah on Ice @ 4th Street Live, at a community Chanukah celebration on Sunday, December 21, 2014. The ceremony will feature Mayor Greg Fischer, who will light the Menorah at 530 pm. Prior to the Menorah lighting, from 4:00 until 530, there will be free ice skating and bowling. Following the Menorah lighting, all are welcome to partake in the delicious holiday refreshments. This event is free and open to the entire community.

This year’s celebration brings added significance as Louisville joins thousands of communities worldwide in marking forty years since the first public menorah which was lit at the Liberty Bell in 1974. Today, that unprecedented public display of Chanukah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and perception of the festival.

It all began a year earlier in 1973, when the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of blessed memory, considered the most influential rabbi in modern history, launched a worldwide Chanukah campaign, an effort to create awareness and promote observance of Chanukah. This year, the global campaign the Rebbe launched will reach an estimated 8,000,000 Jews (more than half of the world's Jewish population).

Louisville's menorah is one of thousands of large public menorahs throughout the world, including in front of the White House, which attracts some 4,000 people, and near the Eiffel Tower in central Paris, which has attracted as many as 20,000 French Jews.

Throughout the State of Kentucky, Chabad-Lubavitch will be presenting numerous Chanukah events and celebrations, including public menorah lightings, Menorah parades, latke parties, and more.

To find a local event in Kentucky or practically anywhere throughout the world, visit chabadky.com/ChanukahEvents.

More on the history of the public menorah - http://www.chabadky.com/2778619

Event Recap:
What: Chanukah on Ice - Grand Menorah Lighting with Mayor Greg Fischer
Where: 4th Street Live
When: December 21st, 2014 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Cost: Free and Open to the Public

About Chanukah
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people who defeated a ruthless 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. During the occupation of Jerusalem and the Temple, the Syrian Greeks desecrated and defiled the oils prepared for the lighting of the Menorah, which was part of the daily service in the temple. Upon recapturing the Temple from the Syrian Greeks, the Jewish people found only one jar of undefiled oil, enough to burn only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight days until new, pure olive oil was produced. In commemoration of this event, the Jewish people celebrate Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a Menorah. The Menorah is placed in highly-visible place to publicize the miracle, with its message of hope and religious freedom, to all. Today, people of all faiths consider the Chanukah holiday as a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.

About The Sponsoring Organization
Chabad of Kentucky offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations. For more information, contact Rabbi Avrohom Litvin, Chabad of Kentucky, at 502-459-1770 andchabadky@gmail.com or visit chabadky.com.
Chabad of Kentucky
Shmully Litvin