April 16, 2024
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Lights of Chanukah Illuminate Yonkers

A giant menorah illuminated a new Yonkers location this year, the Boyce Thompson Center. At an outdoor menorah lighting, Chabad of Yonkers Rabbi Mendy Hurwitz introduced the honored guests and announced that he had not told Yonkers Detective Autumn Edwards that “the honor of lighting the menorah included climbing a ladder” as she lit the shammash. Det. Edwards passed the torch to Joseph Kelleher, president of Simone Metro Properties, which took the previously abandoned Boyce Thompson property, dormant for 40 years, and developed it into a thriving and attractive commercial center.

Kelleher was followed by Dr. David Lent, chief of the department of Orthopedic Surgery at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, who lit the torch to cheers and applause as he announced, “This is the beginning of us all getting better. At St. John’s Riverside, right across the street, I received my first COVID-19 vaccine shot today. Hopefully, this is the beginning of everybody getting shots, and everybody overcoming this pandemic. Happy Chanukah!”

Michael Blecker, an EMT and deputy chief of operations of Empress Medical Services, also lit a torch until all six torches were lit, fulfilling the requirements for the sixth night of Chanukah and illuminating the darkness.

Rabbi Hurwitz explained that “Chanukah is a holiday celebrated at home. But we bring the light out into the street and share the light, to shed light, to illuminate and push away the darkness.” The rabbi then led a Chanukah procession of a dozen cars, each with a Happy Chanukah sign and a lit electric menorah on top. The procession circled Yonkers streets and ended back at the synagogue, where the rabbi’s son Chaim and daughter Zeesy distributed latkes to all.

Contact Rabbi Hurwitz at [email protected] or call (914) 963-8888 for information on Hebrew school, religious services or upcoming events.

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