East Hampton – The idea of constructing Menorahs from food cans, more appropriately called “Can-or’ahs,” was conceived by Rebetzen Goldie Baumgarten of the Chabad of East Hampton. The exhibition will prove beneficial to many food pantries on the East End this holiday season.
Both Janet Lehr and Ruth Vered of the Vered Gallery in East Hampton offered to exhibit the Can-or’ahs and hosted an opening reception on Saturday, December 12, complete with traditional food and small Menorahs that were given to guests. The Can-or’ahs on exhibit are constructed of cans and packaged food which will be donated to the food pantries at the conclusion of the eight days of Hanukkah.
According to Rabbi Leibel Baumgarten of the Chabad of East Hampton “Hanukkah represents light and one light for people can shed light on all of those less fortunate in the Hamptons who may need help this holiday.” Baumgarten is the father of 12 children, most of whom were in attendance at Saturday’s opening representing a family endeavor, as Rebetzen Goldie Baumgareten is his wife. Rabbi Baumgarten went on to express his pleasure “That the exhibition will be available for all public and local school children to come and view, and maybe enlighten each other to the differences but sameness of us all.”
According to the gallery, “In the spirit of universal compassion and giving, all the Synagogues of the East End happily joined to celebrate Hanukkah, the Holiday of Light, in this project which is intended to provide the ‘light’ of understanding and food for the needy. The Holiday of Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem when the Maccabees successfully rebelled against Antiochus IV of Syria and retook the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. During the eight days of Hanukkah Jews around the world give thanks for the miracles and wonders, and the survival of the Jewish people over the millenia. Closely associated with the Holiday of Hanukkah is the act of giving to the needy, and so, ‘Can-or’ah’ was conceived.”
The participating eight synagogues include Chabad of East Hampton, Chabad of Southampton, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton, Temple Adas Israel of Sag Harbor, Temple Israel in Riverhead, The Hampton Synagogue of Westhampton and the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons. The largest Can-or’ah is five feet by nine feet and the smallest is one foot by two feet – most measure approximately six feet in length, and reveal a warmth of spirit and cleverness that will leave an impression of goodwill during this holiday season. One Can-or’ah is replete with a kotel, or wailing wall, created with cereal boxes and includes rolled up notes and letters.
Saturday’s opening was the second night of Hanukkah, and because the Shuls have been celebrating individually throughout the eight days of Hanukkah, a celebration “Keep The Light Shining,” has also been scheduled at the Vered Gallery for December 19 (from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.), after which all the cans and packages of food used to create these displays, as well as those brought to the gallery as a donation, will be brought to the East End Food Pantry for distribution to all the food pantries on the East End.
Janet Lehr of the Vered Gallery expressed her pleasure at the exhibition by relaying “This is a way to bring all the Shuls together, from Riverhead on, and to give back to the community and also celebrate the holidays.”