Laramie To Light First Public Menorah

Nov 30, 2018

Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn and Governor Matt Mead at a Menorah lighting in Cheyenne, 2017. Photo courtesy Laurie Richmond.

Laramie's first public menorah lighting will take place Sunday. It marks the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, and will also be a sign of solidarity with the 11 people killed at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh.

The Laramie Jewish Community Center is hosting the Hanukkah celebration with support from the city as well as a donor from Jackson and Jackson Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn. Mendelsohn will also be assisting with the annual menorah lighting at the governor's mansion in Cheyenne on Monday.

Community center president Laurie Richmond said the menorah lighting is an example of ways people are coming together after the deadly attack in Pittsburgh.

"In Judaism, there are a number of different branches, and yet through these events often we find extreme unity and cohesion," said Richmond.

Richmond said Rabbi Mendelsohn proposed the menorah lighting to her.

"He said, 'how would you like a Chabad giant menorah to put up in a public place?' and I said that would be fantastic, and I think it would provide Jews in Laramie with a sense of pride during this time and this season," Richmond said.

The electric 9-foot tall menorah will be lit for the first night of Hanukkah on Sunday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m. at the First Street Plaza and will be taken to other events for the remaining seven nights of the holiday. Food and other festivities are planned for the public event on Sunday.