Screen shot of remote celebration of Chanukah with Beth Emet The Free Synagogue and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre Photo by Heidi Randhava

Dec. 10 marked the first night of Chanukah, also known the Festival of Lights. Evanston’s 28th annual Public Menorah Lighting, hosted by Tannenbaum Chabad House, took place at 5:30 p.m. at Fountain Square, Davis Street at Sherman and Orrington Avenues. Due to COVID-19 considerations, the Evanston community was invited to participate via Zoom. In-person attendance at the lighting of the 10-foot Menorah was limited and by reservation only.

Anna Cohen, President of Chabad at Northwestern, welcomed in-person guests including Mayor Steve Hagerty, Alderman  Ann Rainey, State Senator Laura Fine, Police Chief Demitrous Cook and Fire Chief Brian Scott.

Tannenbaum Chabad House, while not formally part of Northwestern University, serves Jewish students at the University with classes, meetings and lectures. The non-profit organization invites the Evanston community to all Shabbat and holiday events. Chabad House executive director Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein has been on the campus at Northwestern University since 1985.

The annual  Menorah lighting, held on the first night of the eight-day Chanukah festival, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and freedom of conscience over oppression.

At 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 11, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue invited the Evanston community to login via Zoom for a virtual celebration, “8 Nights of Light: Chanukah Story Telling,” performed by Evanston Community Sharing Players with Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre Artistic Director Tim Rhoze.

This is the third year that Beth Emet Senior Rabbi Andrea London and Mr. Rhoze have collaborated to host Community Sharing Holiday Events.

Beth Emet is hosting a candle lighting each night of Chanukah this year, with a guest candle lighter. Upcoming highlights include the launch of Cantor Cotler’s world premier Chanukah music video, a celebration of Beth Emet’s Early Childhood program, a social action project, games and Sufganiyot (Israeli donuts) demonstration.  Visit to access a Zoom link for “8 Nights of Light.”



Heidi Randhava

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.