Menorah Lightings Honor Hanukkah Traditions in Newburyport & Amesbury

By Emily Cowan, Newburyport.Com Correspondent

local menorah lightings

Local Menorah lightings enable Newburyport and Amesbury to share the joy of Hanukkah traditions as a community. Each year Newburyport and Amesbury illuminate their respective downtowns with festive menorah lightings on all eight nights of Hanukkah. These public celebrations are open to all and enable our local Jewish communities to celebrate and share their cherished Chanukah traditions with all who would like to attend. The 2021 Festival of Lights begins this year at sunset on Sunday, November 28th and ends at sunset on Monday, December 6th.

Newburyport’s Congregation Ahavas Achim will honor Hanukkah tradition by lighting up its signature 6-foot-tall electric menorah. The Menorah lightings will take place in historic Market Square at 5:30 pm on November 28, 29, 30 and December 1st, 2nd 4th and 5th. On Friday, December 3rd the lighting will take place at 4 pm. These gatherings are open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

In Amesbury, come light the Hanukkah menorah with Rabbi Zalman Borenstein; Rabbi and Rebbetzin of congregation Anshe Sholom Chabad in Haverhill, in the gazebo in front of the Amesbury Public Library at 5:30 pm on November 30thOrganized by Rachel Barcelona, founder and Director of The Brave Maccabees of Amesbury (Formally known as The Amesbury Chanukah Menorah Committee), 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. In 2019 when Hanukkah fell close to Christmas, Newburyport celebrated with an interfaith candle lighting service lead by: 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.

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.

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