Chicago mayor lights JUF menorah on last night of Chanukah

Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Mayor Rahm Emanuel lights the JUF Chanukah menorah with JUF President Steven B. Nasatir (left) and the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School children’s choir

Chicago received one last gift on the last night of Chanukah this year.

On Wednesday, the eighth and final night of the holiday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago to light the menorah (Chanukah lamp) during a ceremony co-sponsored by the City of Chicago.

JUF/JF President Steven B. Nasatir introduced the mayor. “Chanukah is all about freedom,” Nasatir said. “Here we are, thousands of years later. living in this great country, a country that has provided freedom for all Americans, in a wonderful community, in an extraordinary city that’s headed by a mayor who exhibits vigor and wisdom every single day.”

“I want to thank the Jewish United Fund not for what it’s doing today, but because the Jewish United Fund lights Chanukah [every day]!” said Mayor Emanuel. “What is Chanukah? Bringing light to those who live in the shadows and making sure that people, regardless of where they live, have light in their life. We have to contribute part of our light to helping others that are less fortunate regardless of where they live across the world or across the city. I want to thank the Jewish United Fund for your commitment to helping lift others up. This holiday should help all of us recommit to helping others who are less fortunate in our city, remember them, not just today, and not just in the holiday season, but yearlong.”

The spirited children’s choir from the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School sang three songs during the candle lighting, including a Matisyahu song called “Miracle.”

The candle lighting came a week after the first night of the Festival of Lights, which coincided this year with Thanksgiving Day.