Hanukkah celebrations begin in Greenport with annual Menorah lighting

A Menorah was lit in Mitchell Park Sunday night to mark the first night of Hanukkah. Dozens gathered in the park as the first of eight flames were illuminated for the Festival of Lights.

Members of Greenport’s Congregation Tifereth Israel were joined by other community members for the 5 p.m. ceremony, which included a blessing by Rabbi Gadi Capela and songs for the holiday to usher in the eight-day holiday.

Shul president Judith K. Weiner and Greenport officials including Mayor George Hubbard Jr. also addressed the attendees before the festivities continued back at the shul with jelly doughnuts and hot cider.

Hanukkah will be celebrated through the evening of Monday, Dec. 26. It commemorates the victory of a group of Jewish people who rose up against Greek-Syrian oppressors during a revolt and reclaimed the temple in Jerusalem. As a menorah was lit, just enough oil was found to burn for one day but miraculously lasted eight. The holiday represents freedom over oppression and light over darkness.

See more photos from Sunday’s event by Jeremy Garretson.