Days before Chanukah, residents of Curitiba, Brazil, collected historical dates to be included in a 120-stone Menorah, each stone displaying a different year in golden letters.
A large crowd filled the Praça 29 de Março on a beautiful summer-like evening. As the children enjoyed toys and games from Judaica72 (Judaica72.com.br), made their very own Dreidel clocks, and enjoyed hot latkes and doughnuts, a military band played Jewish songs.
The giant traditional Menorah was first switched on by Senator Alvaro Dias, followed by the president of the federation and deputy Flavio Coelho.
The highlight of the evening was the 120 white-stone historical Menorah. From Jose Flaks, the first Jewish immigrant to come to Curitiba, up to the present year, representatives of the families and presidents of organizations were called upon, one by one, to place a photo or logo on the stone corresponding to the year the event took place.
Rabbi Dubrawsky, director of Beit Chabad Curitiba, emphasized the importance of this Menorah: “The unity and togetherness that this Menorah represents will shine forever; it is with the power of unity that this Menorah came to being, and no doubt that the lights of this historical Menorah will illuminate Curitiba, for years to come.”
Rabbi Dubrawsky made the blessings and the oldest member of the community, 95 year old Mrs. Sara Krieger was called upon to assist with lighting a candle, together with young 5 year old Henrique Kohane – the two representing the entire community.
Other Chanukah events in the area included a Bowling Night for teens and college students, who gathered to enjoy Sushi, delicious latkes and doughnuts and to participate in a public Menorah lighting in the bowling alley.