Governor Pat Quinn helped light a public menorah erected at the State of Illinois Thompson Center on Monday afternoon, Dec. 14 in honor of the fourth evening of Chanukah. The menorah lighting ceremony was attended by state officials, Chabad Rabbis, and many onlookers. The program included a performance by the choir of the Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago and the distribution of Chanukah treats.
Governor Quinn began the ceremony with a Chanukah message. The Governor explained that the message of Chanukah that light overcomes darkness is a timely lesson. He thanked Chabad for arranging the Menorah in the State Building.
Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz, regional director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, spoke next and wished Governor Quinn Mazel Tov as this is his first Chanukah as the Governor of Illinois. He then continued, “The Menorah reminds us that we cannot suffice with our past accomplishments. The kindling of one additional candle each night reminds us all that we must always find new ways to brighten the lives of others.”
The Governor was then honored with lighting the Shamash and then Rabbi Moscowitz kindled the Menorah. After a performance by the choir of the Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago, State Senator Ira Silverstein and State Representative Lou Lang offered remarks.
At the conclusion of the event the Governor met with each of the Chabad Rabbis in attendance – Rabbi Baruch Hertz, of Cong. Bnei Ruven & Chabad of Lakeview; Rabbi Shmuel Notik, FREE of Illinois; Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein, Chabad of Evanston & Northwestern University; Rabbi Yossi Brackman, Chabad of Hyde Park & University of Chicago; Rabbi Meir Moscowitz, Chabad of Northbrook; Rabbi Levi Notik, FREE of Chicago; and Rabbi Yosef Moscowitz, Chabad of WickerPark- Bucktown.
The State of Illinois Chanukah Ceremony was organized by Leibel Moscowitz and Yehudah Glaser who also coordinated the Car top Menorah Parade, Chanukah Wonderland, the upcoming ceremony at the Chicago Bulls game and many other Chanukah activities.