Public menorah lit for first time in Arlington Heights park
Members of a new Arlington Heights-based synagogue helped celebrate the Festival of Lights by lighting a six-foot Hanukkah menorah at North School Park on Tuesday night.
Organizers believe it's the first public menorah installed in the park, which also has a Nativity scene and holiday lights display.
"The miracle and message of Hanukkah -- increasing the light and adding more love to the world -- wouldn't be good enough to keep in our own homes," said Rabbi Yaakov Kotlarsky of the Chabad Jewish Center of Arlington Heights. "It's important to bring this message to the world."
The menorah lighting is one of the first public outreach efforts of the new Jewish center near Palatine Road and Fernandez Avenue, where about 10 families began gathering for services and study groups three weeks ago. The faithful are now meeting inside a home while they look for a more permanent location in a commercial area, Kotlarsky said.
While real flames were used to light the menorah candles Tuesday night at North School Park, Kotlarsky said light bulbs would be turned on the remainder of the eight-night holiday.
"As the new synagogue in town, we're really excited to give to the community and give people the opportunity to celebrate," he said.