The Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement is celebrating Chanukah this year with week-long live broadcasts of global holiday events. Public candle lighting ceremonies being broadcast live from major cities in countries around the world include Jerusalem, New York, Washington D.C., Hollywood, Helsinki, Paris, Brisbane, Calgary, Cape Town among others.
“One of the most unique attractions this year is the lighting of South Africa’s Ice Menorah,” according to Rabbi Dovid Zaklikowski. “Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson will be offering greetings on behalf of the city of Cape Town on Thursday evening, Israel time, at 7:00 p.m. Viewers will be able to see absolutely stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain at Dolphin Beach, where the broadcast is being set up.”
A live satellite hookup for the third night of the holiday was hosted from New York and swung between Lubavitch headquarters at "770" Eastern Parkway, Jerusalem, Washington D.C. and Paris, sharing “real time” blessings over the Chanukah lights by top officials and children in all four locations.
The annual satellite event which allows Jews around the world to recite the blessing at public Chanukah menorah lightings in unity was an innovation in 1991 launched by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. At that time, civilian use of satellite technology was just beginning. The idea of broadcasting a public Chanukah menorah-lighting on television was a radical concept in the insular Chassidic world.
Other events are also being made available on live feeds from the Chabad.org web site, Zaklikowski said.
Viewers are able to virtually participate in events at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, New York, through the site’s “Live Dreidel Cam,” available throughout the holiday. A live feed from the Western Wall is also available throughout Chanukah on the site.