Wednesday, Dec. 8

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Gov. Blagojevich celebrates the first night of Hanukkah by lighting menorah at the Thompson Center     Send a link to a friend

[DEC. 8, 2004]  CHICAGO -- On Tuesday, Gov. Rod Blagojevich joined Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz of the Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois and some of Illinois' Jewish elected officials in the lobby of the Thompson Center in a celebration of the first night of Hanukkah. Gov. Blagojevich lit the first candle to mark the start of the Jewish Festival of Lights, which continues through Dec. 15. The program also included Hanukkah songs by the Seymour J. Abrams Hebrew Day School children's choir from Skokie.

"Hanukkah is a celebration of light, optimism and hope," the governor said. "During this holiday season, we can take the themes and lessons of Hanukkah to add hope to our lives."

The governor's participation in the menorah lighting continues his celebration of the holiday season. Last week, the governor along with his family lit the holiday tree at the Thompson Center as he kicked off the Keep our Kids Warm and Safe annual giving program. The governor will be in Springfield on Wednesday to light the first Christmas tree in the newly built Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

"Hanukkah teaches us that no matter how insurmountable the odds may seem, miracles can come to those full of faith and courage. We wish Governor Blagojevich and all the wonderful citizens of our state much success and the ultimate blessings of peace and prosperity," said Rabbi Moscowitz, regional director of the Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois.

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Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois has 22 centers throughout the state, from Gurnee to Champaign. The centers provide social, educational and religious services to all.

Hanukkah marks the victory of Jews over an oppressive Syrian-Greek regime over 2,100 years ago and celebrates a single vial of oil, which burned for eight days to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem. In commemoration, Jews around the world light candles of the nine-branched menorah (candelabrum) every night during the holiday.

[News release from the governor's office]

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