More menorahs in Ridgefield shop windows this year
Shops are putting menorahs in their windows in the downtown village — more of them than last year.
Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray of Congregation Shir Shalom said business owners were not at all reluctant to put a Jewish symbol in their window in the wake of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
“I think if possible people were more enthusiastic,” she told The Press Wednesday, Nov. 28.
“It was wonderful,” she said. “I spent three hours walking up and down Main Street ... in the back of my mind I’m thinking about Pittsburgh … and, of course, the swastikas [in Ridgefield].”
Gray delivered 35 menorahs to business owners, compared with 25 last year. It’s the second year she’s handed them out.
While Katchko-Gray said the Pittsburgh shooting was in the back of her mind, none of the shop owners she spoke to said they wanted a menorah because of the tragedy.
“Last year, there was really only two shops that said they weren’t comfortable with putting any sort of religious symbol in their window,” Katchko-Gray said. “They were also really respectful and kind about it.”
Festival of Lights
The shop-window menorahs are just one event out of many planned for the holiday in town.
On Monday, Dec. 3, Congregation Shir Shalom and Temple B’Nai Chaim of Georgetown will co-host the annual menorah lighting for the second night of Hanukkah.
Katchko-Gray said attendants should bring canned food, which will be stacked into a menorah before being donated.
That event will start at 5:30 p.m., and will be held on the lawn next to Prime Burger at 449 Main Street — the sidewalk in front of the CVS parking lot.
And on Thursday, Dec. 6, Chabad Jewish Center will host the town’s first Hanukkah walk on Main Street.
The event will feature another menorah lighting, music, arts and crafts, and food and chocolate gelt from Main Street vendors. The event is open to the whole community, and begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of Deborah Ann’s.
“I think it’s important for Jewish families to see a menorah in a window and feel that they are part of the community as well,” Katchko-Gray said.
She noted that Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights.
“Light is a powerful thing even if it’s small,” she added.