Each year, Jewish communities in Newburyport and Amesbury illuminate their respective downtowns with festive menorah lightings on all eight nights of Hanukkah. The Festival of Lights begins this year at sunset on Sunday, December 22.
Newburyport’s Congregation Ahavas Achim will light up its signature 6-foot-tall electric menorah in historic Market Square at 5:30 PM on December 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29; and at 3:30 PM on December 27. On Christmas Day, December 25, an interfaith candle lighting service will be held at 4 pm with: Congregation Leader Alex Matthews from Congregation Ahavas Achim, Reverend Rebecca Bryan from the First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist Church and Reverend Chris Nay from the Central Congregational Church. These events are open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.
In Amesbury, come light the Hanukkah menorah in the gazebo in front of the Amesbury Public Library at 6 PM on December 22 through December 30.
Organized by Rachel Barcelona, with support from members of the Amesbury community, both Jewish and gentile, Amesbury’s menorah lightings typically include storytelling, songs, jelly doughnuts, and gelt (chocolate coins) for the children.
Community menorah lightings are an annual tradition that is relatively new to our area. Newburyport began its public menorah lightings in Market Square in 2012. Amesbury followed up with its own nightly celebrations in 2013.
Congregation Ahavas Achim, founded in 1896, is a welcoming and diverse spiritual community whose goal is to educate and inspire individuals and families to actively participate in Jewish Life, Torah study, prayer, acts of kindness. The congregation welcomes families and individuals from all backgrounds.