Huge lineup of public menorah lightings again

With Chanukah beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 1, it might feel as if mere moments after finishing your turkey dinner, it will be time to light the candles.

There are a few new lighting events in the Bay Area, along with the annual grand public menorah lightings — some now more than three decades old:

• Dec. 1: Chanukah in Union Square kicks off with the first candlelighting at 5 p.m. Each night of Chanukah (the last night is Dec. 8), Rabbi Yosef Langer will light the giant menorah at Union Square in San Francisco. Also, the 36th annual Bill Graham Menorah Day begins 3 p.m. Dec. 5 with a Chanukah skating party followed by the lighting. For more information, call (415) 753-0910.

• Dec. 1: The Addison-Penzak JCC is hosting a public menorah lighting at 5:30 p.m. at Santana Row Shopping Center, 355 Santana Row, San Jose, in front of Hotel Valencia. For details, call (408) 357-7499.

• Dec. 1: “Chanukah on Ice” takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 at Walnut Creek Civic Park Ice Rink, 1365 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. The event includes a menorah lighting in the outdoor rink along with sufganiot, traditional Chanukah doughnuts. Tickets: $14. To order, visit

Menorah being prepped for lighting last year in S.F.’s Union Square. photo/courtesy of chabad of s.f.

• Dec. 2: Afikomen Judaica’s public menorah lighting event begins at 4 p.m. There also will be a story reading and live music with Elana Jagoda. The store is located

at 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. For details, visit

• Dec. 2: North Peninsula Chabad continues its tradition of different menorah ideas — past menorahs have been made of chocolate, Legos and balloons — with the lighting of an ice menorah at its ninth annual Burlingame Avenue Menorah Lighting, 6 p.m. in Washington Park (behind the Burlingame Caltrain station). Chabad also is asking children in the community to create their own menorahs for a menorah contest. Every child who brings his or her own

handmade menorah will win a prize, and a panel of judges will gift one grand prize winner with a remote- control helicopter. For details, visit

• Dec. 2: Redwood City’s first public outdoor Chanukah festival and grand menorah lighting takes place at 5 p.m. at the San Mateo County History Museum, 22 Broadway, Redwood City. The Chabad of Mid-Peninsula event will include food, music, arts and crafts along with the lighting ceremony.

• Dec. 2: There will be a community candlelighting during the Festival of Lights Community Chanukah Party at 6 p.m. at the Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. The event also will include songs, dreidel games and Israeli doughnuts. $8-$13. (650) 223-8618.

• Dec. 2: Chabad of Contra Costa will bring a huge menorah to the Whole Foods at 100 Sunset Drive in San Ramon for a free lighting and celebration beginning at 7:30 p.m. There also will be a lighting at 4 p.m. Dec. 5 at Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek. For details, call (925) 937-4101.

• Dec 2: The fifth annual Piedmont Menorah Lighting Ceremony takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. outside Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave., Piedmont. There will be live music, doughnuts and hot drinks. Free. Visit

• Dec. 3: There will be a community-wide menorah lighting at 6:30 p.m. at Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda. Attendees can bring a vegetarian dish for the potluck following the lighting. For details visit

• Dec 4: The Sonoma Wine Community Chanukah Party and menorah lighting will take place from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at Congregation Shir Shalom, 252 W. Spain St., Sonoma. Along with the candlelighting, there also will be latkes, music by Simka and dancing. Suggested donation is $5 to $10. For details, call (707) 935-3636.

• Dec. 5: A giant menorah made of canned foods will be lit at 4:30 p.m. at King Plaza in front of Palo Alto City Hall, at 250 Hamilton Ave. Chabad of Palo Alto will donate the canned foods after the event to local food pantries. Along with the “Menorah of Giving” lighting, there also will be free latkes, cotton candy and hot cider. For information, visit

• Dec 5: Chabad of Oakland hosts a Chanukah Wonderland grand menorah lighting from 2 to 5 p.m. at Splash Pad Park, between Grand and Lakeshore avenues in Oakland. Along with local dignitaries lighting the menorah, there also will be live Jewish blues by Saul Kaye, latkes and doughnuts. Free. Visit

• Dec. 5: The Almaden Valley Torah Center hosts a grand menorah lighting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. in De Anza Park, Meridian near Blossom Hill Road, San Jose. For more information, call (408) 445-1170.

• Dec 5: Chabad of the East Bay  will present a community lighting of a large ice menorah at 4:30 p.m. at Bay Street Mall in Emeryville. There will be doughnuts, chocolate gelt and live music by the Ferris Wheels. Information:

• Dec. 8: There will be a grand lighting of a giant Jelly Belly–filled menorah along with a “Chanukah Wonderland” event from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center, 1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. The free event include tours, samples, edible menorah and dreidel crafts, a latke bar, music by the Ferris Wheels and Chanukah theater. For details, visit