Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and local leaders of the Jewish community today joined Chabad of California to celebrate the season of Chanukah at the 15th annual Capitol Menorah Lighting Ceremony. This year’s celebration honored Project PRIDE, the Chabad-sponsored outreach program that helps prevent drug use by promoting positive alternatives and also dedicated the Capitol Menorah to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.
“The lighting of the menorah brings the universal message of hope and freedom to all Californians as we come together and celebrate the Festival of Lights,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “In these tough times this menorah represents a beacon of light to people who need it most and also reminds us all of the courage and strength showed by those who sacrificed their lives during the terrible tragedy in Mumbai.”
During the ceremony, the Governor also participated in a memorial tribute to honor the Chabad representatives who were victims of the Mumbai terrorist attacks that occurred this past November.
Led by West Coast Chabad Director Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, the 15th annual Capitol Menorah Lighting Ceremony included musical performances by the Pacific Boychoir and the Sid Engel Orchestra.
“The event captured the interest and attention of all the thousands of people who gathered to watch the event, whether live or through the media,” said Rabbi Chaim Nochum Cunin of Chabad of California, “and so we were able to deliver the Rebbe’s message, that a little light dispels so much darkness, on a grand scale.”