The annual Chabad menorah lighting in Massachusetts has traditionally been a very well attended event by politicians from all over Massachusetts. The event, one of the first public Chanukah public lightings dating back to 1976, and was one of the first ten in the world.
Every year the mayor, city council and school committee members attend, and with the election four years ago of local hometown favorite Mayor Timothy Murray to Lieutenant Governor, the event has become even more famous as the Lieutenant Governor has been the master of ceremonies for close to 15 years.
The Lieutenant Governor is a very dear personal friend of the Fogelmans and the Yeshiva as he grew up on the west side in the neighborhood. As a matter of fact, last year he told the story of a menorah ceremony in the State House. A rabbi thought he was introducing the Lieutenant Governor to a new ceremony. The Lieutenant Governor replied, “Ah, excuse me, but Rabbi Fogelman taught me all about menorahs and Chabad years ago. I can probably tell you guys a few things.”
This year the Newton square menorah lighting had a new honored guest; the new very popular Senator Scott Brown, who not only said a few words, but also lit the shammas, which is the service candle. He proudly went up in the cherry picker to the delight of all of those who attended.
Also attending were Mayor of Worcester, Joseph Obrien; Senators, Harley Chandler and Michael Moore; City Councilors, Joff Smith, Kate Toomey, and Konstantina Lukes; School Committee Chairman, Brian O’Connell; City Manager, Joseph O’Brien; State Representative, James Oday; State Representative Elect, John Mahoney; and Lydia Goldblatt, who is a selectman in Westborough and a member of Senator Brown’s staff, and proud grandmother of Brandon, a preschool student at Yeshiva Achei Tmimim.
Many friends and supporters of the Yeshiva Chabad were present as well, including, Michael Sleeper, David Persky, and Executive Director of the Jewish Federation, Howard Borer.
Lighting the menorah were honored supporters and friends of the Yeshiva Chabad: Ben Bailin, Burton Chandler, Daniel Mastey, Max Bernstein, Elliot Honig, Tony Gaval, and Michael and Abby Bergman.
Every speaker expressed words of praise for Chabad and especially Rabbi Fogelman. Scott Brown, upon meeting Rabbi Fogelman said, “It is a pleasure to meet the legend.” In his official remarks he mentioned his recent trip to Israel and the precious few moments when he was able to pray at the western wall.
The atmosphere surrounding the event was one of camaraderie and celebration, with music, hot latkes, and hot chocolate. The event was sponsored by Attorney Morris and Doctor Wendy Bergman.