JCMI’s 3rd annual Marco Island Community Chanukah Celebration was held on Wednesday December 21, 2011. Chanukah, meaning “dedication” in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “re-dedication” of the Temple in Jerusalem. Our lives light up during Chanukah. Perhaps our joy at this season is because of the chanukiyah, (a special menorah for Chanukah) lights that we kindle, unique foods, latkes and jelly doughnuts; and special songs and games. We feel so happy during this time because we think about the success of the Maccabees. During Chanukah we rejoice in the miracle that a small amount of oil lasted for eight days. We recognize God’s power in creating miracles and protecting our people.
Around 150 people from the Marco Island area attended a candle lighting ceremony conducted by Rabbi Edward M. Maline, D.D. and Cantorial Soloist Hari Jacobsen. David Willens, Executive Director of the Jewish federation of Collier County presented a message from the Federation and lit the candles. There was music featuring Klezmer clarinetist, Dr. Martin Cohn. Lots of holiday spirit for the entire family plus light refreshments.