Jewish Community turns out in support of Chanukah in South Bend
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”
The Michiana Jewish community was well represented for the first night of Chanukah in Downtown South Bend.
On the evening of Sunday, December 18th, nearly a hundred people showed up to celebrate the beginning of the festival of lights by lighting the giant Chanukiah in the Jon Hunt Plaza outside the Morris Performing Arts Center -- an annual tradition in South Bend thanks in large part to the organizing efforts of Jody Freid.
Representing the community on stage were speakers Moshe Kruger of the Jewish Federation, Ruth Kremer of Temple B’nai Shalom, Rabbi Elie Ginsparg of Midwest Torah Center, Rabbi Karen Companez of Temple Beth-El, Rabbi Michael Friedland of Sinai Synagogue, Mayor James Mueller of South Bend, Rabbi Schneur Gansburg of Chabad of Greater South Bend and Rabbi Joshua Rubin of Liberal Jewish Fellowship.
Mayor Mueller had the honor of lighting the shamash, while Rabbi Gansburg led the blessings and ignited the first night’s candle. Afteward Rabbi Rubin led the community in singing Maoz Tzur and Oh Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah.
“Chanukah, in many ways, is about the mitzvah of our actions, to beat back darkness, the darkness of hate, the darkness of racism and bigotry,” Moshe Kruger said. “As the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Special thanks to Dan Ravitch for planning the program, Bob Feferman for picking up the certified kosher sufganiyot from Chicago, and Downtown South Bend for once again providing the perfect backdrop and safe atmosphere to celebrate together as one community.