A Chanukah in the shadow of Mumbai needed programs that would bring a torch full of light. Rabbi Yosef Shmuel Moscowitz, associate director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, designed an unprecedented Mivtza Chanukah program. From creating brand new car top Menorahs to transforming the famous Kohl’s Children’s Museum into a Chanukah wonderland – Chanukah 5769 in Chicago will long be remembered.
Heeding the Rebbe’s call to meet darkness with light and coldness with warmth, Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois set out on an unprecedented effort to turn around the bitter cold that greeted them on the first night of Chanukah 5769. Adorned with newly designed aero-dynamically efficient Chanukah Menorahs, 101 cars, SUV’s, Mom’s taxis and minivans headed out to spread the message of Chanukah.
This year’s parade had some new twists. In addition to the newly manufactured Menorahs the parade route went beyond the tour of Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile and a swing past the 30 foot Menorah on the promenade of Daley Plaza. This year’s Menorah parade continued on down Highway 94 to the Kohls’ Museum in suburban Glenview.
The Kohls’ interactive children’s museum was transformed into a Chanukah wonderland. Co-sponsored by the Chabad Israeli Center led by Rabbi Menachem Slavaticki and with the friendly help of Rabbi Dovid Grossman and his team of volunteers the place was quickly transformed into a welcoming Chanukah Home complete with sufganiyot, photo opportunities with Yehuda HaMaccabi and Chanukah arts and crafts.
The weather cooperated and an ice sculptor had no trouble carving a functional Menorah out of a six foot block of ice. Rabbi Yishaya Benjaminson of Chabad of Glenview was honored with the lighting the frosty Menorah.
More than five hundred men women and children enjoyed the dozens of games and pint sized attractions as they ran from display to Olive Oil press (run by Rabbi Yitzchok Bergstein of Chabad of Oak Park) to Pizza party to watch the ice sculptor.
“The Rebbe has always stressed the importance of our ability to overcome darkness with light,” explained Regional Director Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz while holding his black hat tightly against the wind, “although the temperature outside was bitter cold, we successfully lit up the world with the warmth and the message of Chanukah.”
All too quickly it came to an end and everybody braved the freezing wind to head home, the hearts warmed and the car tops alight with the message of light.