Rabbi Yossi Blesofsky, director of Chabad Lubavitch of Northeast Queens, once again brought out the crowds for a spectacular Chanukah menorah lighting ceremony, now in its 27th year. Graced with the presence of Congresswoman Grace Meng, State Senator John Liu, NYC Council Member Paul Vallone, Assemblymembers Ed Braunstein and Nily Rozic, and NYC Council Member-elects Linda Lee, Vickie Paladino, and Sandra Ung, Rabbi Blesofsky ascended via a cherry picker to the heights of the menorah for the formal lighting. Lynn Schulman expressed her delight with the program but was unable to attend.

Festive music, warm drinks, Chanukah delights, and cheers from the crowd filled the atmosphere at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center as the festive holiday excitement kept participants attentive at the free event. The annual event brought out all segments of the community in a giant display of Jewish and Chanukah pride. Last year, the event was successfully held with strict COVID precautions and the community was blessed with renewed warmth and light.

“Once again we overcame darkness and we were supercharged with lots of light and hope from the elected officials who attended,” noted Rabbi Blesofsky. In a year when we have seen so much antisemitism, it was nice to see the community respond in such a powerful way. Some attendees joined for the first time, while others consecutively attend.

By Shabsie Saphirstein