The Capitol celebrates Hannukah

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 9:54 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - In this season of giving, Gov. Gordon and officials honored the celebration of lights with the Menorah lighting ceremony.

The festival of lights lit up the Capitol on Monday when officials held their annual Hanukkah Menorah lighting ceremony.

It was the first year since the pandemic that folks have been able to gather.

“People from all walks of life join us; it’s open to the public. Jewish non-Jewish, right, left, rich, poor, it doesn’t matter, we’re getting rid of all the boundaries just coming together to celebrate,” said Raizy Mendelsohn, Co-Director of the Chabad Jewish Center of Wyoming.

Host Chabad Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn said this holiday celebrates light winning over darkness as he recounted the history of Nuremberg Laws and Kristall Nacht.

“Now more than ever, the story of a world filled with the bright lights of the Menorah is vitally important in this time of great darkness,” said Rabbi Mendelsohn.

The Governor and First Lady, lawmakers and other officials were also there.

“Just celebrating the diversity that we have in our community, I think that’s very precious, and I wanted to be here to be part of that today,” said Mayor Patrick Collins.

Jewish community members and former Secretary of State Max Maxfield were in attendance, who started the celebration in the Capitol 15 years ago.

“It belonged in a very special honored place, and it was just a terrific honor on my part to be able to facilitate that,” said Maxfield.

The Cheyenne Youth Symphony, food, and treats were also there to help lift spirits as the Menorah was lit.

“This gathering on this day every year is a delight because again it comes back to the service we can bring and the work we can do to make wyoming better to make it more inclusive to really remember the real meaning of this season,” said Gov. Mark Gordon.

Gov. Gordon, the First Lady and Rabbi Mendelsohn lighted the first candle Monday. There are eight more candles to be lit in the festival of light.