A 26-foot Menorah was the star of the 12th annual Menorah in the D, the yearly Menorah-lighting celebration that kicked off the observance of the eight days of Hanukkah. Huge crowds gathered in person at Campus Martius Park downtown and online to take part in the celebration that kicked off the observance of the eight days of Hanukkah, including Aliza Klein, a social worker from Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit, who said, “This Menorah lighting is really important because it carries our tradition, and it showcases that. We’re going to continue to spread light and joy throughout the world for generations to come.” 

For Rabbinical student Tzemach Shemtov, the Menorah in the D celebration is a reminder of lessons he learned from his family and the kind of life he wants to live. “I grew up watching my parents dedicating their lives to spread this message of spreading light and warmth to other people… and that’s what I want to see myself doing with my life.” 

Menorah in the D

Jewish community leaders light a 26-foot Menorah during the 12th annual Menorah in the D celebration at Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit Dec. 18, 2022. | Photo by One Detroit

To attendee Brian Fata, the event showed that “there’s no place like Detroit and the Jewish community here. We stand strong together, and I think this Menorah lighting really exemplifies that.” 

One Detroit Contributor Daijah Moss was at the event and spoke with leaders from the community and attendees about the history and meaning of the Jewish holiday. Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Democratic Representative Haley Stevens also gave remarks onstage, echoing the celebration’s message of togetherness and standing up against hate. 

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