The Menorah Challenge will aim to light up Temple of Aaron with – at least – 1,001 menorahs being lit.
“I was trying to think of new and creative ideas to get people in and celebrate Hanukkah together,” said Cantor Joshua Fineblum. “We’ve done a lot of programming over the years and wanted to kick it up a notch.”
The event is from 10 a.m.-noon, which is before Hanukkah starts by several hours. To make it work, only the shamash will be lit on each menorah, and the only prayer that will be done is the shehechiyanu. Fineblum said that nothing says how many candles have to be lit in order to break the record.
“I went through the process and put in the paperwork,” that TOA was going to try and break the record, Fineblum said. “You have to send them pictures from the event. If we don’t hit the challenge, we don’t send the pictures.”
Fineblum said he thinks the staff alone will contribute at least 50 menorahs to the cause. TOA is partnering with the organization Russian American Jews of Minnesota to help get the word outBe.
Beyond the candle lighting, Zehorit Heilicher will be doing a cooking demonstration in the TOA kitchen that will be broadcast via Facebook Live to the social hall. There will also be three stations around the synagogue can make their own menorahs, Jorie Bernhardt, the director of youth and family programming, will be running her Five Senses of Hanukkah program for younger children. There will also be a photo booth, donut holes from Dunkin Donuts, coffee, hot chocolate, and milk.
In the social hall, there will be 44 tables set up that can accommodate 25 people – and their menorah. The 23 boxes of candles are donated by TOA’s Sisterhood. Fineblum was planning a Home Depot run to stock up on lighters to help make it all happen.
“We have a bunch of things for every age, which is how we want it,” Fineblum said. “Whoever wants to come can come. This is another way of showing the miracle and beautifying the mitzvah.”