Hanukkah celebrated in front of Parks

Members of the Ames Jewish community and Chabad on Campus watch the menorah lighting on the front lawn of Parks Library on Dec. 3. Chabad on campus, hosted the menorah lighting and a Chanukah party in Carver Room 400.

Meg Grice

Visitors to Parks Library may have noticed a 6-foot menorah on the front lawn last night in celebration of Hanukkah.

Chabad on Campus hosted their second annual celebration by kicking off the second night of Hanukkah with the lighting of the center and the two outer-right lights on the menorah.

Approximately 15 people attended the celebration outside Parks and the after-party in Carver Hall. Both Jewish and non-Jewish participants attended the celebration. 

Rabbi Leibel Jacobson opened with statements explaining the importance of the holiday, which signifies good overcoming evil as well as the bringing about of light and eliminating darkness in the world.

After the speech, those killed in the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting were honored with a moment of silence.

With the menorah lit, Rabbi Jacobson invited all attendees to sing along with songs of the holiday, as well as the blessings while Joseph Bingham, president of Chabad on Campus, lit the menorah.

Bingham passed around a petition during the ceremony outside Parks to advocate for a Rabbi to be a part of the administration at Iowa State.

Bingham said Jewish student needs are not being met, and their needs still matter regardless of their portion size in the student population.

“Our big goal is making it so that Jews feel welcome on campus,” Bingham said.

Rabbi Jacobson also handed out menorahs to attendees who did not possess one of their own.

At the after-party in Carver, a surplus of latkes, soup and jelly-filled doughnuts were available to partake in, as is typical of the holiday. Malka Jacobson, the Rabbi’s wife, welcomed both old and new faces.

A majority of the party-goers took part in the dreidel game and socialization with other members. Music was also played throughout the night, and during the dreidel game various techniques were practiced to achieve the longest lasting spins.

The dreidel game involves a four sided top and chocolate coins. Each player starts with an established number of coins. After a player spins their dreidel, if participants have their own, and it lands on a symbol, the player must then add or remove coins from their own pile based upon that symbol. When a player runs out of coins, they are out of the game.

As a whole, the night was enjoyed by both young and old members of the Jewish faith in celebration of light over darkness.