The village of Malverne celebrated the start of the Festival of Lights Saturday night by gathering with local residents, officials and clergy to illuminate its menorah.
Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald lit the first candles on the large menorah that stands along Hempstead Avenue near the LIRR train station. While speaking about the significance and history of the eight-night celebration, McDonald said that all residents, even those not of the Jewish faith, should be reminded during Chanukah that miracles do happen.
Evoking the images of how the candles inside the Temple in Jerusalem burned for eight days despite the fact that the Maccabees only had enough oil for one, McDonald said Chanukah also shows that despite the darkness, light will shine through. This, she said, was a message particularly needed right now as residents in nearby communities continue to recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.
The ceremony also featured traditional Jewish songs led by Rabbi Meir Dvir, and a message from Malverne Jewish Center President Dave Feldman, who invited everyone back to the center for latkes and other refreshments.
Click through the gallery above to see photos of the menorah lighting ceremony.