Join Chabad of Brandon & SouthShore as they celebrate Hanukkah at one of several locations for a festive menorah lighting. Events will be held in Sun City Center, FishHawk and Plant City.

Chabad of Brandon & SouthShore will celebrate Hanukkah with several events around the area this year. All events are free and open to the public.

First, Chabad of Brandon & SouthShore will light a 9-foot Menorah on Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m. in front of Club Car of Sun City, located at 1651 Sun City Center Plaza. This is the first night of the eight-day Festival of Lights, as Hanukkah is known.

The Sun City Center event will feature traditional latkes (potato pancake), doughnuts and chocolate gelt. These are free. In addition, there will be New York deli sandwiches available for purchase. Complimentary Hanukkah menorahs and candles will be distributed for those who need them at home.

Then, on Monday, December 19 at 5 p.m., a Menorah will be lit at Park Square in FishHawk. On Tuesday, December 20, a ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. in front of the Robert A. Willaford Railroad Museum, located at 102 N. Palmer St. in historic downtown Plant City. This ceremony will include music, lattes, doughnuts, chocolate gelt and crafts for children. The menorah at this location will stay up throughout the eight-day Festival of Lights.

Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin said, “Everyone is excited about Hanukkah. People are preparing to celebrate with family and friends, to fill their homes with the light of a Hanukkah, and there is a palpable joy. The public Hanukkah celebration is about sharing this light and joy with the broader community.”

Hanukkah recalls the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people who defeated the Syrian-Greeks who had overrun ancient Israel. Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabrum known as a menorah.

Chabad of Brandon & SouthShore offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations. Chabad of Brandon & SouthShore offers synagogue services, classes, Sunday school and hospital visits. It also has a food fund which is specifically designated for those who need help with buying kosher food.

Rabbi Rubashkin said, “We are here to help in any way we can. We are not exclusive to helping the Jewish community only.”

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