Borderland Treasure: Families take part in biggest Hanukkah celebration

Local Treasure

POSTED: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 1:24pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 1:25pm

In the borderland, there are ways people of all religions can celebrate the holidays. Earlier this month, the Jewish community celebrated Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights.

For many Jewish families in El Paso going to Chabad Lubavitch in west El Paso for Hanukkah has become a tradition.

"Hanukkah brings our family together and it reminds me of my own childhood where we all got together and celebrated."

"It’s a part of who we are. It's something that we have to carry because it's a part of who we are and if we don't, we become like some other religions that withered away," said Elijah Prince.

Every year, Chabad Lubavitch sponsors a large Hanukkah celebration for the community in which more than 200 people take part.

The event includes music, food and many activities for children.

"Chabad Lubavitch came to El Paso 27 years ago and we tried to highlight the holidays in order to make it very happy and remember for the children that this will help keep up the tradition," said Rabbi Yisral Greenberg.

The highlight of the day is a kindling ceremony. This year, Congressman-elect Beto O'Rourke helped light the Menorah.

"Every year, we have the lighting outdoor of the synagogue in order for everyone to participate and be part of the lighting," said Greenberg.

Greenberg said it's important for young people to get involved and incorporate Jewish beliefs in their everyday lives.

"This is only to continue the Jewish traditions and it's about participating in the holidays on a day to day basis," said Greenberg.

"I think El Paso is a growing community and the Jewish community is also growing and it will continue to grow," said Greenberg.

This year, Hanukkah was from December 8 through December 16.

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