Hanukkah celebration lights up Oceanside
December 14, 2007
OCEANSIDE — As the sun set Dec. 9, a 14-foot menorah was lit to celebrate Hanukkah at the Oceanside Civic Center.

Rabbi Baruch Greenberg opened ceremonies with an inspiring message about the holidays. He said Hanukkah has been celebrated for 2,000 years “not only to commemorate the miracle of good over evil, but to light our darkness.”

“It’s a miracle that happens continually today,” Greenberg said.

This year, Hanukkah was celebrated from sundown Dec. 4 through nightfall Dec. 12. The story of Hanukkah tells that there was not enough oil to light a lamp for one day, yet the lamp stayed lit for eight days.

“The symbol of the menorah is we fight darkness, fight the evil by bringing more light,” Greenberg said. “As much as we do good today, do more tomorrow.”

Mayor Jim Wood lit the first candle on the menorah. Cpl. Ben Kroker lit the remaining seven candles on the menorah while spectators lit their own candles amongst themselves.

Councilman Jack Feller took part in the celebration. “All the events we do, whether it’s celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, are an important part of our community,” Feller said.

Following the menorah lighting and songs, the festivities moved inside the Community Room. Participants celebrated by spinning dreidels, and eating fried donuts, chocolates and latkes. Children were offered colorful balloons and the opportunity to string beads and have their faces painted.

“The kids enjoy the presents, it’s a ritual done around the world,” said Jon Hall who created the 14-foot menorah.

“It’s part of our most important holiday of the year,” said Oceanside resident Anne Estis. “A gift-giving time, for eight days, instead of one.”
Contact reporter Promise Yee via e-mail at