Daily Israel Report

Tel Aviv’s Businesses Light Chanukah Candles

Huge initiative sees dozens of businesses in Tel Aviv lighting menorahs and displaying them in their windows.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/8/2010, 4:24 AM / Last Update: 12/8/2010, 5:16 AM

A new initiative has seen Tel Aviv light up with the beautiful lights of the Chanukah candles.

More than 75 businesses on Tel Aviv’s Ibn Gabirol Street (one of the major streets in Israel’s second largest city) took part in the special Chanukah project last Thursday, which was aimed at bringing the spirit of Chanukah out into the open. The businesses lit the Chanukah candles with the participation of volunteers who visited the stores, following which the menorahs were displayed at the storefronts.

The second part of the project was a mass menorah lighting at Dizengoff Center, one of Tel Aviv's top shopping spots. Volunteers who arrived at the mall invited everyone to take part in the candle lighting ceremony. Shoppers, store employees, and even security guards participated.

The event was organized by members of the Ofek community in the Heichal Moshe synagogue in Tel Aviv, in cooperation with the Lev Yehudi Yisraeli (Jewish Israeli Heart) program of the OU Israel Center. Also assisting was the Association for Volunteer Effort.

Tzvi Yehuda Dikstein, coordinator of the Ofek community said: “We wanted to create an atmosphere of celebration in the heart of Tel Aviv. We decided to include the businesses operating in the area. The cooperation was amazing and business owners were happy to take part and light the candles in their stores. In addition, a real celebration took place at Dizengoff Center. There, young and old, religious and secular, sang together, danced and created a festive and unique atmosphere in honor of Chanukah.”

OU Israel Director-General Rabbi Avi Berman added that the social activities by Lev Yehudi Yisraeli bring together people of all walks of life. “The Chanukah celebration in Tel Aviv is an excellent example of the unity and of bringing people closer together which the Lev Yehudi Yisraeli organization leads in Gush Dan.”