Menorah lighting moves to steps of Old Main

The annual community lighting of the menorah to celebrate Hanukkah will move this year to the steps of Old Main on the Penn State campus.

In recent years, the gathering was held at the State College Municipal Building.

Hanukkah began Thanksgiving night and runs through Dec. 5.

A large menorah will be lit at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at Old Main, said Rabbi Nosson Meretsky of the Rohr Chabad Jewish Student and Community Center on campus.

“Old Main is a good location,” Meretsky said. “We’re hoping for a good crowd.”

The evening will feature traditional foods, crafts for children and a raffle with prizes. Free individual menorahs and candles will be available.

Hanukkah, or the “festival of the lights,” dates back to the freeing of Jerusalem and the Temple from Syrian rule in 164 BCE, Jewish history sources show.

The menorah, or “Hanukkiya,” is a candelabrum with nine branches.

Candles are lit each night of the festival, with the taller servant candle in the middle used to light the others.

“It’s an important event,” Meretsky said. “We can come together as a community.”