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Residents Celebrate Hanukkah with Menorah Lighting

NEW CASTLE, N.Y. - A group of residents gathered at Senter Street on Tuesday night to watch Rabbi Yosef Butman light the menorah in front of the the New Castle Community Center, symbolizing the first night Hanukkah.

“On Hanukkah the message is we start the first night we have one,” said Butman. “Every night we increase one candle always reminding us when we come to goodness and kindness and things that are good and positive, we only increase in light.”

Butman is a rabbi at the Chabad of Armonk, Chappaqua and Plesantville (ACP). “The Chabad is the largest Jewish organization in the world today,” he said. “It’s like a full-service Jewish community center that does everything from high holiday services to social services to holiday events.” Chabad is connected to the Lubavitch Hasidic movement, headquartered in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It has centers throughout the globe and also at many American universities.

Those who work in Manhattan would recognize the movement by the numerous vans, called "mitzhah tanks" that invite Jewish men inside for traditional prayers.

Butman was joined by a group of Jewish children and their parents who helped him with the menorah lighting by singing several traditional holiday songs.

After the lighting ceremony, the children went inside the center for a “mad science” presentation, which highlights on the use of fire and electricity to coincide with the spirit of Hanukkah, according to Butman.

Children also constructed dreidels, ate jelly doughnuts, and received chocolate gelt. Gelt in Yiddish means money, and giving money to children is a Hanukkah tradition, Butman explained. In place of actual money, however, children were provided with the chocolate coins.

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