Outdoor Menorah Lighting Ceremony Under the Stars

Rabbi Shmuly Kornfeld is assisted in lighting the menorah with Ira Lipman.(Photo by Ross A Benson)

On the second night of Chanukah, which is celebrated from December 18-26, the Chabad of Burbank hosted an outdoor Menorah lighting ceremony with the community and dignitaries along the AMC Walkway in Downton Burbank. Rabbi Shmuly Kornfeld led the ceremony that has been a tradition for over a decade.

The holiday of Chanukah is a festival of victory and celebration for all times, highlighted by the kindling of Menorahs each night of the holiday.  “It is a holiday replete with traditions, with displays of Jewish pride and unity,” said Rabbi Shmuly Kornfeld, Director of Chabad of Burbank, yet it also contains a universal message for people of all faiths-that ultimately good will triumph over evil, freedom over oppression, and light over darkness.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

On December 19th, the Chabad of Burbank served traditional potato latkes and jelly donuts while children sang Hebrew songs and enjoyed face painting, chocolate gelt (coins), and balloon animals. In attendance at the ceremony were the newly elected Burbank City Council: Mayor Konstantine Anthony, Vice Mayor Nick Schulz, and council members Nikki Perez, Tamala Takahashi, and Zizette Mullins. 

Also participating in the event were Senator Anthony J. Portantino and Assemblymember Laura Friedman. “It was so beautiful to see well over a hundred people from the community gather to celebrate the festival of lights. It was also extremely meaningful to have so many city and state elected officials come out and join the celebration,” said Rabbi Kornfeld. “Seeing so many people from all walks of life celebrating together was a true reflection of the beautifully diverse community in our wonderful city of Burbank.”

Rabbi Kornfeld lit the 10-foot Menorah with the help of Ira Lippman, who was honored at the ceremony and lit one of the candles. Lippman is highly regarded in the community and previously served a 10-year term as President of the Burbank Temple Emanu El. “The menorah reminds us that we should always aspire to increase the positive things that we do. If you did one good deed yesterday, do two today,” said Rabbi Kornfeld.

“The menorah represents freedom from tyranny and oppression and freedom for all people to express their own faith as they see fit. When it’s lit in a public space, the menorah represents the principles of equality and religious freedom upon which our country was founded, and it is a wonderful symbol of the religious diversity that is the hallmark of Burbank and of this great country,” he added.

The Chabad of Burbank also had a “Menorah Mobile” with a large electric Menorah attached to the roof while traveling around offering Menorahs and candles to the community.  There hope is to further publicize the message of Chanukah, the message of “light over darkness.”