Students of the Mayanot Women’s Program joined forces with the Chabad of Baka on the last night of Chanukah for a one-of-a-kind event to build an eight foot tall Menorah… out of Legos.
At the Kenyon Hadar mall in Jerusalem, Rabbi Avraham and Dina Hendel from Chabad of Baka (also known as Chabad Janglo) had been hosting public menorah lightings all week. However when it came to the last night of the holiday, they were determined to go out in a bright, colorful style by hosting an event where children and adults alike could contribute to Jerusalem’s tallest Lego Menorah. For several hours Wednesday afternoon, the main court of Kenyon Hadar was filled with boxes upon boxes of Legos and the sounds of children’s laughter as the locals (and even some not-so-locals) came to participate in the event.
Students from the Mayanot Women’s Program were on hand to help the children build pieces of what would become the building block base of the eight-foot-tall menorah. Mayanot also manned the popular face-painting station for kids who needed a break from the Lego excitement. The pre-lighting event lasted about two hours and was a huge success. “We came from Ramot for this and my kids are having a great time. It was well worth the drive,” attested Chaya, a smiling mother at the event.
As volunteers helped form the random towers and mini-menorahs into the pieces needed for the base, Rabbi Hendel and a few friends helped put the parts together. “It was great seeing what the kids had been working on actually go into making this huge menorah,” remarked a father admiring the work of his two sons. “You can tell it was a community effort.” Within twenty minutes, the pieces that had been spread all over the mall floor had been stacked over eight feet into the air. As mall staff moved the finished product into place in front of the event stage, the finishing touches were added: nine candles and a sign that read “Built by the kids of Chabad of Baka.”
In front of a crowd of a few hundred local residents and their children, the event concluded with the actual lighting of the menorah by city officials, accompanied by live music. The women of Mayanot who volunteered at the event left inspired. “I feel like part of the community. One of the girls even gave me a hug after I finished painting her face,” said one of the students. “The kids were adorable and the Menorah turned out great. What a great way to end Chanukah!”