SHREWSBURY – Shrewsbury’s Jewish community gathered at the Town Common on Dec. 7 to light the menorah and celebrate the start of Hanukkah together.
Hanukkah officially started at sundown on that day. The eight-night “festival of the lights” will end on Dec. 15. Jewish people gather each consecutive night of the holiday to light an additional candle on the menorah.
The town’s menorah is prominently located on the corner of Boylston and Main streets. In an interview prior to the menorah lighting, Rabbi Shmulik Fogelman detailed the importance of having menorahs in the public sphere.
“It really is to get to every single Jewish person – they should know it’s Hanukkah, they should be educated about Hanukkah… This is bringing Judaism to the people,” he said.
The event featured several different fried foods, including potato latkes, sufganiyot and donuts. With chilly temperatures, hot cocoa was also made available. With food and friends, the gathering was an important and well-attended community event.
“It’s a positive way of showing our fearlessness, our Jewish pride. We’re not afraid of anybody. We’re not cowering, in fact, we are coming out in public. It’s important to come together in the community – all the more so now,” said Fogelman.
Fogelman and his wife, Sarah Fogelman, run the Chabad of Shrewsbury and UMass Medical School. Rabbi Shmulik Fogelman said that he hopes the chabad can help provide resources to the Jewish community.
“We have all kinds of events for Jewish students, Jewish adults, Jewish children. Whatever we can do to spread Jewish education for people in the community – that’s what we do,” Fogelman said.