Hanukkah Menorah on display for first time as part of holiday open house at County Building in Hilo

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For the first time ever, a Hanukkah Menorah is on display as part of the “Magic of the Season” Holiday Open House at the Hawai‘i County Building in Hilo. Photo courtesy of Rabbi Rachel Short with Ahava ‘Aina.

Hawai‘i County is celebrating the Season of Light with a Big Island nonprofit whose mission is to heal the world and build the first Jewish cultural community center and synagogue in East Hawai‘i.

For the first time, a Hanukkah Menorah was displayed at the Hawai‘i County Building on Aupuni Street in Hilo as part of the “Magic of the Season” Holiday Open House. The 8-foot tall menorah provided by Rabbi Rachel Short and the congregation of Ahava ‘Aina is part of a larger display that includes various Christmas trees, cartoon characters and Christmas decorations.

“I don’t have words to describe how I feel about Hanukkah finally being a part of the celebration at the County Building,” Short said in a news release. “We are beyond thankful to Mayor Mitch Roth and the County of Hawai‘i for providing space for the menorah, a symbol of light, miracles, hope, faith and freedom for all. With anti-Semitism on the rise, having the first menorah ever in the County Building means more than I can even begin to express. This is history.”


“Magic of the Season” continues from 5:30 to 8 p.m. today and Friday. The nightly celebrations include live music, food trucks and keiki activities. The entire community is invited to come out and join in the celebration.

Roth and Short also will be lighting a menorah at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19, the second day of Hanukkah, in front of the display at the County Building. The community is invited to attend.

“Having the first menorah in the County of Hawai‘i Building is a proud accomplishment for our administration,” Roth said in the news release. “The menorah is a symbol of the miracle of light, which is of great significance as we come out of these hard times.”


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