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(Photo Credits: Ira Nozik Photographers)

Governor Dannel P. Malloy
Marks Beginning of Chanukah
with Delegation of Rabbis
Chabad Representatives Celebrate at State Capitol

On Tuesday, December 20th, a delegation of rabbis kicked off the Chanukah festival with Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  The group, representing the twenty-three Chabad Jewish Centers throughout the state, shared thoughts and inspirations relating to the holiday.  They also made a special presentation of a Menorah to the governor.

Rabbi Joseph Gopin, Director of Chabad of Greater Hartford, related a letter that he received from the Lubavitcher Rebbe upon the completion of a new building in 1988.  The Rebbe compared the mission of Chabad to that of the Menorah.  Drawing on that thought, Gopin commented, “On Chanukah, we add another candle each night.  We must keep on adding; we cannot be satisfied with what we have achieved.”

Gaining further inspiration from the Menorah, Rabbi Yisrael Deren, Director of Chabad of Western and Southern New England, observed that in many Menorahs the “Shamash” candle (the “Server”) is raised above all the rest.  “In Judaism, there is nothing nobler than serving others,” he said.

Addressing the rabbis, Governor Malloy remarked, “I consider it a great honor to have all of you here.  I have participated in Chabad events and I’m very happy to have you all here.  I certainly want to be a good partner to all of you.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the rabbis and the governor danced to some Chanukah tunes, including the famous “Dreidle, Dreidle, Dreidle…”  The governor surprised the group by relating that he was actually familiar with that song: He learned it growing up, in public school…

“We live in a blessed country that upholds the values of religious freedom,” said Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky, Director of the Benet Rothstein Chabad Jewish Center in Glastonbury.  “We consider it an honor to mark the beginning of Chanukah with Governor Malloy, representing all the people of our great state.”

Chabad Centers are located in Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Litchfield, Milford, New Canaan, New Haven, New London, Orange, Ridgefield, Simsbury, Stamford, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Hartford, Westport, and Westville.  Chabad Student Centers serve the campuses of University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, Wesleyan University, and Yale University.

Tuesday, December 20th, marked the first evening of Chanukah.  Chabad centers statewide will be hosting community celebrations throughout the eight-day festival.  For more information, please call (860) 659-2422 or email Rabbi@ChabadER.com.

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