Hanukkah menorah lighting aiming to bring hope to Shelton amid pandemic

Rabbi Shneur Brook of Chabad of Shelton & Monroe speaks to those gathered at the annual menorah lighting celebration held last year on the Huntington Green. This year's celebration will be Sunday, Dec. 13, on the green.

Rabbi Shneur Brook of Chabad of Shelton & Monroe speaks to those gathered at the annual menorah lighting celebration held last year on the Huntington Green. This year’s celebration will be Sunday, Dec. 13, on the green.

Contributed photo /

SHELTON — Chabad Jewish Center of Shelton will light a 9-foot Hanukkah menorah placed on the Huntington Green on Dec. 13, the fourth night of the eight-day holiday.

While the scope of the ceremony will be limited amid Shelton’s ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the lights will shine forth as brightly as ever, according to Rabbi Shneur Brook, director the Chabad of Shelton and Monroe.

This year’s menorah lighting is done with the recognition of the need for a message of hope during what for many is a difficult time, Brook said. Chabad of Shelton and Monroe will also distribute menorahs, candles and Hanukkah-at-home kits to those celebrating at home.

“The menorah serves as a symbol of light and hope for us today amidst the darkness of the pandemic, as it did for generations before us,” Brook said. “The flames of the menorah shine out into the night, reminding us that even when confronted with much darkness, a tiny light can dispel it all. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”

This year, Brook said the holiday has added significance as so many will be isolated at home on Hanukkah amid these difficult times.

“As the Rebbe — Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson — would often teach, the menorah is a reminder that light can be brought to the darkest of times, and uniquely, at the core of the holiday’s observance is sharing the light with others who may not be experiencing it,” Brook added.

Throughout the pandemic, Chabad of Shelton and Monroe has been on the front lines of providing social, humanitarian and spiritual support to local families, Brook said. The COVID-safe menorah lighting is the latest of many innovative programs created in response to these unique times by Chabad, including Seder-To-Go kits, Shofar in the park for the High Holidays and more.

“To ensure everyone is safe, the menorah lighting will be very limited, with all participants distanced and wearing masks to ensure the outdoor event is safe,” Brook said. “Following the menorah lighting ceremony, pre-packaged menorah kits and holiday treats-to-go will be distributed.”

For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events visit JewishShelton.com/chanukah.