This Week on One Detroit:

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 community 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.” 

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. 

The holidays are a time to celebrate tradition with friends and family. For some Japanese American families, the traditional art of pounding rice is a staple for the new year. This prominent Japanese tradition involves pounding in the New Year with fresh mochi, rice smashed into a gooey paste and molded into round cakes, then eaten for good luck.

One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota visits a traditional Japanese New Year’s celebration at a metro Detroit community center where the Japanese American Citizens League of Detroit hosts its second annual mochitsuki party to learn about how the art of pounding rice is being replicated and kept alive.

Shooting superior skies: Michigan among the best destinations to photograph the northern lights

Photographing Michigan’s night skies since 1998, photographer Shawn Malone, of Lake Superior Photo, knows a thing or two about photographing the northern nights and other auroras. In this Great Lakes Now featured story, Malone takes viewers on a journey through her experiences capturing from film cameras to using digital cameras now to create time lapses over Lake Superior. She unveils what people should be looking for, the challenges that can come with photographing at night, and why Michigan is one of the best places in the lower 48 states to see the northern lights.

Plus, we catch up with Nick Lake, the manager of theater experience and presentation for the Adler Planetarium, to talk about his weekly “Skywatch Wednesdays” YouTube series and how he makes the northern lights accessible to those unable to take a trip north at the planetarium.

Detroit Opera brings ‘Aida’ opera back to the stage for one night only concert

Since Detroit Opera Artistic Director Yuval Sharon arrived in Detroit in 2020, he’s been turning opera on its head in, what some might call, a very unconventional way. He’s taken the opera from the stage out into the streets, performing for the community on escalators and in warehouses, train stations, parking structures and several other unexpected places.  

Now Sharon takes on an even greater challenge: bringing back one of the most famous operas, “Aida,” after nearly a decade for a one-night only concert performance at the Detroit Opera. The Detroit Opera will perform Aida in Concert, conducted by Jonathan Heyward and featuring Angel Blue as Aida, at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 30.  

For One Detroit, WRCJ radio host Cecelia Sharpe sat down with Sharon ahead of the one-night only performance to talk about what people can expect from Aida in Concert, the fresh take he’s brought to opera in the modern day, and what’s on the horizon for the Detroit Opera in 2023. 

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