A large menorah was lit outside on the Chamberlain Student Center patio on Tuesday to commemorate the third night of Hanukkah.
Richard Jones, Dean of Students, was on hand to commence the celebration and say a few words about the holiday. The event was co-hosted by the Jewish organizations on campus, Chabad and Hillel.
The celebration welcomed all students on campus and encouraged them to take part in authentic Hanukkah traditions. Attendees enjoyed latkes, a Jewish potato pancake; gelt, or chocolate coins; and sufganiyot, a traditional jelly doughnut. Those at the event also were able to paint their own dreidels.
“It’s the first time that we’ve commemorated Hanukkah on campus in such a way, and I’m hoping that this becomes a part of the holiday tradition at Rowan,” Jones said.
Jones later went on to talk about the correlation between the anti-Semitic graffiti found in Chestnut Hall earlier this week and the timing of the celebration.
“[The celebration] was already planned before the swastika incident, however, I do think it is rather symbolic since Hanukkah is about the rededicating of the temple,” Jones said. “So this is an opportunity [to rededicate] our campus to peace, inclusiveness and love.”
The menorah lighting itself was presided over by Rabbi Hersh Loschak, a clergyman at Chabad of Gloucester County and a director of the Chabad at Rowan. After Jones lit Shamash, or the center candle of the menorah, Loschack ignited the other three and then proceeded to lead attendees in two Hebrew blessings over the candles.
“There are a lot of Jewish students here and it’s important that there are other festivities and holiday celebrations going on,” Loschack said. “It’s important that everyone should feel welcome here.”
-Featured Image: Rabbi Hersh Loschak led the lighting by reciting Hebrew blessings. -Anthony Medina/Staff Photographer
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