MANATEE -- Several Jewish congregations are having public menorah lighting ceremonies Monday to mark Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.
Hanukkah is celebrated over eight days and commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt.
Jews and non-Jews alike are welcome to the menorah lighting ceremonies.
In downtown Braden-ton, the Jewish communityin Bradenton will hold its downtown Hanukkahcelebration at 6 p.m. today in front of the ManateePlayers Theater, 102 Old Main St.
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The celebration will be filled with singing, dancing, special readings by members of Temple Beth El and Congregation Ner Tamid, the religious school students of both congregations and the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah.
Information: 941-755-4900 or 941-755-1231.
In Lakewood Ranch, Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch will ignite a public nine-foot-tall menorah at 6:30 p.m. today on Main Street, followed by a communitywide celebration on the second night of Hanukkah. Activities include menorah sand sculpting, live music, frying and decorating traditional doughnuts, latkes, cotton candy, prize drawings, pictures with Judah the Maccabbee, a Dreidel House, Olive Oil Factory, Falafel by Yoav, Kosher food from "Delicious Creations," face painting and more.