By Matt Bryant
Nearly 200 Hoover residents and visitors gathered at dusk Wednesday night in front of the Hoover Public Library to witness the City’s first menorah lighting ceremony. Children danced and took part in crafts as adults chatted over coffee and latkes, waiting for the program to begin. As darkness hastened, the crowd hushed as Rabbi Levi Weinbaum, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and Hoover City Councilman Steve McClinton climbed inside of a small box and with the use of a hydraulic lift, ascended a few feet to stand behind a steel framed menorah – a candelabrum used by those in the Jewish faith to celebrate Hanukkah.
“With you, I would like to ask God for a blessing,” Weinbaum said to begin the program. “That the truth should prevail and overcome the terrorism and hate, the evil and all darkness. It should not have place in this world, we should bring peace and love and light to everyone.”
He then handed the microphone to Brocato who greeted the crowd.
“Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights and holds a profound significance in the Jewish faith. It symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, of hope over despair, and of resilience in the face of adversity. It is a celebration of faith and expectation.”
Following remarks from McClinton, Brocato lit the lead candle followed by several families from the Jewish community that came forward to light the remaining seven flames.
The lighting was hosted by The Chabad of Alabama, a Jewish educational organization. The program also featured several crafts for children, a dreidel mascot, donuts, latkes, and chocolate gelt. After the lighting, families gathered in front of the menorah to take pictures while children danced and had fun to contemporary Jewish music.