Festival of headlights! Chabad takes menorahs on Ridge car parade

Festival of headlights! Chabad takes menorahs on Ridge car parade
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Call it a victory lap.

Three days after someone knocked down (but not out) the Chabad of Bay Ridge’s menorah on 65th Street and Seventh Avenue, members of Brooklyn’s Jewish community celebrated the last day of Hanukkah by illuminating Bay Ridge with a parade of cars sporting menorahs on Dec. 13. Organizers decided to start their parade at the site of the apparent vandalism in an act of perseverance, the Chabad’s rabbi said.“It’s a symbolic gesture that we are here and the light will continue to shine and more light will go forth from there,” said Rabbi Tzvi Stroh. “Instead of being lessened, the light will go forth through the whole neighborhood.”

It was the Chabad of Bay Ridge’s third such parade over as many years.

The Bay Ridge ride previously started and ended at the synagogue on Bay Ridge and Fourth avenues, but Stroh and his colleagues put together a last-minute menorah-lighting at Fort Hamilton Triangle on 95th Street and Fourth Avenue and rode there instead.

Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) and state Senator Martin Golden (R–Bay Ridge) lit each side of the 9-foot menorah at the triangle with around 40 people from the borough’s Chabad communities in attendance.

Gentile decried the vandalism on behalf of area gentiles.

“I wanted to make a statement that whatever happened with the menorah is not representative of what people in this neighborhood are about — that this is not a hostile neighborhood, and this was an isolated incident,” he said.

Stroh plans to put up one more menorah in the neighborhood next year to bring even more light to Bay Ridge — much like one lights one more candle each night of Hanukkah, he said.

“That shows that you may start off small, but as long as you persevere, the light will overcome the darkness,” he said.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlync[email protected]local.com.

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