The Chabad of Hall County will be hosting two different Chanukah celebrations this week in both Flowery Branch and Gainesville, offering refreshments, activities and a menorah lighting.
The first event will take place in Flowery Branch on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the city amphitheater located at 5603 Mitchell Street. The second will be on Sunday in Gainesville on the square at 4:30 p.m. Both events will offer live music performances, a giant menorah lighting and arts and crafts, according to Rabbi Nechemia Gurevitz.
Both events offer free admission and anyone from the community is welcome to attend.
“Chanukah is the festival of lights, this year it begins on Thursday, December 7th, and it goes until the evening of Friday, December 15th, an eight-day holiday,” Gurevitz said. “It recalls the victory of the militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish nation in the land of Israel over 2000 years ago.”
Gurevitz went on to explain how Chanukah celebrates religious freedom, freedom of expression and freedom for human beings to live their lives peacefully side-by-side, without imposing one set of beliefs on another set of people.
Additionally, Gurevitz noted that given the current events happening in Israel, it is more important now to band together.
“Since October 7th, when Hamas terrorists committed their brutal, evil massacre against the Jewish people and murdered and tortured so many, the Jewish community has really been hurting,” Gurevitz said. “And it's really a dark time for the Jewish people throughout the world. And the question is how to react, so many in generations past, the reaction was to hide, to hide their Jewishness, to go behind closed doors, to retreat. But today, that reaction since October 7th, among the Jewish community, internationally has been to be stronger, to be more united.”
Both the mayor of Flowery Branch and the mayor of Gainesville will be in attendance at their respective events, providing a public address.
“This is also about appreciating where we are so the entire community is invited to these events,” Gurevitz said. “It's a way to celebrate unity, that support and that idea of kindness and the triumph of the few over the many, and the weak over the strong and good over evil.”