On the eighth night of Hanukkah, locals took to the streets. Part of the Hanukkah tradition is to share the light of a menorah, usually by placing it in a window for passersby to see.
This year, members of the Lubavitch Center of Essex County, Living Legacy and the Friendship Circle, and the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown joined forces to share the light with whole communities of people by organizing the county’s inaugural Hanukkah parade.
The parade was the brainchild of 14-year-old Mendel Grossbaum. He shared the idea with his father and uncle, Rabbi Levi Grossbaum and Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum. They reached out to Rabbi Boruch Klar, Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz, and Rabbi Yisroel Rosenblum. A plan was hatched and last night’s parade was the result.
Led by a red “Menorah Truck,” vehicles with large menorahs on their roofs set out from Livingston to wind through a number of Essex County towns. They ended the parade in West Orange.
The hope of the parade organizers, said Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz earlier this week, is “to inspire people, to bring joy into people’s lives.” Kasowitz described the parade as a symbol of “freedom, joy, and unity” for Essex County.