Chabad of Penn State to light 9-foot menorah on Old Main patio Dec. 9

December 07, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Chabad of Penn State will light a public 9-foot menorah at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, on the patio of Old Main, followed by a community-wide celebration on the fourth night of Hanukkah. The ceremony will feature State College Mayor Elizabeth Gorham and other student and community leaders. 

Following the menorah lighting ceremony, hundreds will dance, sing and eat the night away with music, hot latkes, chocolate coins, doughnuts, free Hanukkah menorahs and candles, a raffle, crafts and more.

“The menorah serves as a symbol of State College's dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship God freely, openly, and with pride,” said Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Nosson Meretsky, who organized the public menorah lighting. “Specifically in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution, the menorah takes on profound significance, embodying both religious and constitutional principles.”

State College's menorah is one of thousands of large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad throughout the world, helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.

“I want my kids to grow up with pride in their Jewish heritage and a feeling of equality and self-confident as an American,” said Heather Baumgartenn who is looking forward to attending the public menorah lighting. “Chabad Lubavitch’s Hanukkah menorahs are arguably one of the most important developments ever to help my child’s education. I wish they had this where I grew up.”

This year’s Hanukkah celebrations bring added significance as Jewish communities worldwide celebrate the year of Hakhel, a once-every-seven-year opportunity to celebrate Jewish unity and learning. Throughout the year, Jewish synagogues and organizations are hosting communal gatherings for men, women and children dedicated to encouraging Jewish observance.

For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events, visit or contact Rabbi Nosson Meretsky, director of Chabad of Penn State, at 814-863-4929 or

Last Updated December 07, 2015