Chabad plans fire truck candy drop and a giving ‘Can-orah’ for Hanukkah this year

Chester. Menorah lightings and other celebrations planned in Goshen, Chester, Monroe and Tuxedo. Join your friends and neighbors in celebrating the triumph of freedom over oppression, spirit over matter, and light over darkness.

| 11 Dec 2019 | 11:23

Love latkes? Want to see chocolate gelt drop from the sky?

Join friends and neighbors on the cold winter nights ahead with Chabad of Orange County, headed by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, which is providing an array of festive Hanukkah celebrations for all ages.

Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights, begins this year on Sunday, Dec. 22, and concludes the evening of Monday, Dec. 30. Chabad's highlights this year include the popular fire truck gelt (chocolate coins) drop at the menorah lighting in Monroe, the lighting of a "Can-orah" made of food can donations in Chester, smiles for senior citizens in Goshen, a Tuxedo menorah lighting, and a community-wide social-media #ShareTheLights initiative.

“The Menorah’s message is universal,” said Rabbi Pesach. “It demonstrates light over darkness, freedom over oppression and religious freedom.”

The ceremonies will include the traditional lighting of the menorah, the singing of Hanukkah songs, “dreidels,” hot latkes, and other traditional treats. Local dignitaries will be joining and sharing words of greeting.

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people, over the mighty forces of a ruthless enemy that had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life, prohibit religious freedom and force the Jewish people to accept a foreign religion.

During the occupation of Jerusalem and the temple, the Syrian Greeks desecrated and defiled the oils prepared for the lighting of the menorah, which was part of the daily service in the Temple, and rendered them unfit for use. Upon recapturing the Temple, the Jewish People found one lone jar of undefiled oil, enough to burn for only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight days until new, pure olive oil was produced. Ever since, in commemoration of this event, the Jewish people celebrate for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a menorah, which serves as a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.

For more information call 845-782-2770, email, or visit

Schedule of events
Sunday, Dec. 22 – Gelt drop and menorah lighting starts at 4:30 p.m. in the commuter parking lot on Millpond Parkway (across from the Crane Park Island Gazebo. The Monroe Joint Fire District will help by having the gelt drop from one of its fire truck. Among the thousands of silver chocolate coins, 8 golden chocolate coins will be mixed in and can be redeemed for a gift. In addition, dreidels and menorahs will be parachuting from the sky. Refreshments, including latkes, doughnuts and hot chocolate, will be served. This free event is made possible thanks to the Monroe Joint Fire District, the Monroe Police Department and the Village of Monroe.
Monday, Dec. 23 – Community celebration starts at 5 p.m. at Colonial Lanes, 78 Brookside Avenue. A giant food can menorah, dubbed the "Can-orah," will be created and lighted. Participants are encouraged to bring donations of kosher canned foods which will be donated to local food pantries after the ceremony. Kosher food can donations can also be dropped off at Chabad, 1170 Route 17M, in Chester. Other highlights include bowling, hot buffet dinner, latkes, doughnuts, dreidels, Hebrew School choir, and entertainment by ventriloquist/comedian “Docta Gel.” Cost is $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Register at or call 845-782-2770.
Tuesday, Dec. 24 – "Movie & Menorah with Chinese Dinner" begins at 6 p.m., Chabad Center in Chester. Chinese food dinner is followed by Jewish themed movie. Cost is $18.
Tuesday, Dec. 24 – "Hanukkah Cheer to Seniors" starts at 4 p.m. Community members of all ages are invited to bring joy to the residents of West Senior Living in Goshen. Enjoy songs, refreshments, menorah lighting, and dreidel games with residents.
Thursday, Dec. 26 – Community menorah lighting and reception begins at 6 p.m. at the Tuxedo Train Station, 240 Route 17. The menorah lighting will be outdoors, followed by reception inside the train station community room. Latkes, doughnuts and hot chocolate will be served at this free event.