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Chanukah 2010: A Global Chabad Festival of 10,000 Lights

The Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement is involved in hosting or sponsoring more than 10,000 Chanukah events around the world this holiday season.
By Hana Levi-Julian
First Publish: 12/2/2010, 2:17 AM / Last Update: 12/6/2010, 9:31 PM

The World Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement is involved in hosting or sponsoring more than 10,000 Chanukah events around the world this holiday season.

Among the events involving emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, are public menorah lightings in more than 75 countries. There have even been Chanukah lightings at sporting events – including last week's Miami Heat-Detroit Pistons basketball game in Florida, and the Portland Trail Blazers-Los Angeles Clippers basketball game held Sunday in Oregon. Even California Governor and former Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger danced with Chabad rabbis to celebrate the holiday (to join in the celebration, watch the video below).

Emissaries and volunteers were expected to have distributed more than 400,000 menorah kits around the world by the end of this week.

In Israel alone, Chabad is expected to distribute 250,000 sets of menorahs and candles to the public, along with 400,000 traditional sufganiyot (Chanukah donuts).

The Jewish State is lit up this week with 1,250 giant menorahs in public squares, 4,500 more in shopping malls, shops and offices, and 1,400 mobile menorahs affixed to the roofs of vehicles driven on roads throughout the country by Chabad emissaries. (Pictured is the public menorah in the holy Judean city of Hevron, Israel. Israel news photo: courtesy of Chabad.org)

The movement has also created a “Chanukah super-site,” that features offerings ranging from Chanukah basics and a “How To” guide, to Chanukah greeting cards, a kids' site and recipes. The site, a project of Chabad.org, also hosts the world's largest Chanukah event directory with listings of events around the world.

“Come Chanukah time, the increase in traffic is enormous, and we're on track to eclipse last year's record high,” said the site's IT director, Rabbi Moshe Berghoff. Facebook users were also encouraged to get into the act with a contest for the “Most Likable Menorah” on the organization's Facebook page.