On December 5, 2018, the 4th night of Chanukah, Staten Island was fortunate enough to experience at Borough Hall the annual candle lightings sponsored by the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island (COJO).
Mendy Mirocznik, President of COJO started the program by saying that, “the Menorah Lighting this year has taken on an even greater significance then it has in previous years as we as a community are mourning and are grappling with the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre of Pittsburgh that just happened a few weeks ago. However, the Menorah Lighting coupled with the festivities of this evening and the voices of the children signing demonstrates that we as a community will rise above hate and have a tomorrow full of hope and optimism.” Mirocznik, thanked Borough President James Oddo for opening Borough Hall and in hosting COJO and the Annual Menorah lighting ceremony and praised the Oddo administration as, “a caring administration who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of all of Staten Island.”
Scott Maurer the CEO and Executive Vice President of COJO stated that, “in today’s world we are experiencing a time of hate and fear, this lighting is so important…it says the light still burns bright for Jewish people and all decent people all over.”
Attending the Menorah Lighting was Borough President James Oddo, Congressman Elect Max Rose, and District Attorney Michael McMahon and Detective Dominick Scotto representing NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill.
Rabbi Abraham Biderman from Congregation Oorah addressed the audience with a beautiful speech following the lighting of the Menorah led by Israeli Deputy Council General in New York Israel Nitzan, and Deputy Inspector Isa Abbassi, commanding officer of Pct. 120, who had the honor of lighting the Shamosh.
Throughout the event there was a beautiful spread of latke and doughnuts enjoyed by the whole audience. COJO thanked Oorah and Rabbi Chaim Mints for sponsoring the doughnuts & Mark Weiss owner of Dairy Palace for sponsoring the latkes.
The events that took place were both beautiful and largely successful. Once again COJO outdid themselves by creating functions that showcased the beauty of our religion and were enjoyed by the public at large.
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