The local Jewish community will be marking Chanukah, the Feast of Lights, later this month; and Jewish Congregation of Marco Island invites neighbors of all faiths to be part of the celebration.
Chanukah commemorates the occasion, 2182 years ago this month, when the Temple in Jerusalem—which the Seleucid emperor had turned into a shrine to Olympian Zeus— was recovered by the Jewish people and rededicated to God. As Rabbi Mark Gross of the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island explains it, “this long-ago struggle of one people to assert their own culture and their own faith serves every year as an inspirational reminder that the diversity of a pluralistic society is something to defend, respect, and celebrate.”
Chanukah itself is celebrated with lights, dispelling Winter’s darkness by kindling the m’norah, or Chanukah lamp, on each of the eight nights of the holiday. Worshippers are invited to bring their own household m’norah (and six candles) to the Synagogue to take part in the “parade of lights” that will inaugurate Sabbath worship at 7:30 on the Friday during Chanukah, December 27th.
The next day, Saturday the 28th, Jewish Congregation of Marco Island will be co-hosting with the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples the annual South Collier County Community Chanukah celebration, featuring greetings from local dignitaries, the lighting of a giant outdoor m’norah, and seasonal treats in honor of the occasion.
Jewish Congregation of Marco Island is located at 991 Winterberry Drive, a block east of South Collier Boulevard. Overflow parking for these special events is furnished through the courtesy of the Art League, directly across Winterberry from the Synagogue. For more details about these Chanukah events, contact the JCMI Office at 239-642-0800.