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Rainy Forecast Turns Sunny At Chabad Of Merrick’s Grand Menorah Lighting

By: 5TJT Staff
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2007
The gloomy forecast and the gray, threatening, skies did not deter Rabbi Shimon Kramer of Chabad of Merrick from giving the go-ahead to set up for the outdoor public menorah lighting. His faith was rewarded by beautiful clear-blue skies.

When the Chanukah Wonderland opened its doors at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 9 at the beautifully decorated clubhouse hall at the Merrick Golf Course, the Wonderland attendees kept flowing in. Approximately 400 people attended the programs, which began with adults and children guessing how many dreidels were in the oversized Lucite bowl. Lucky 4-year-old super guesser Ayden Rosand got to take home 176 dreidels!

Mr. Steve the Scientist was on hand to demonstrate the chemical principles of water mixed with oil and awed his audience with magnificent fire and science experiments! There were activities for all ages, including doughnut decorating, latke making and eating, menorah and dreidel crafts, coloring, candle-making, a video, and awesome face painting!

The Wonderland ended with a stupendous magic show by magician Mark Warner, and at 4:00 p.m. the fun was not yet over, as attendees were then able to join Merrick’s first-ever Chanukah Car Parade. All parade-goers attached balloons or flags to their vehicles and, thanks to the 1st Precinct, a very orderly car parade made its way down Merrick Road to Cammans Pond Park, with a Chabad mitzvah mobile home and two limousines bedecked with car menorahs in the lead. There was a true spirit of “freedom of religion,” one of Chanukah’s main themes.

At Cammans Pond Park, the following elected officials gave their greetings: Councilwoman Angie Cullin, State Senator Charles Fuschillo, Assemblyman David McDonough, County Legislator Dave Denenberg, Joe Baker from the South Merrick Community Civic Association, and Paul Kosowski from the Nassau County Civic Association. Senator Fuschillo lit the shamash (leading candle) and while the children from the Ohav Shalom Hebrew School sang the blessings, Legislator Dave Denenberg lit the menorah. Rabbi Kramer spoke about the significance of Chanukah these days and how every person can bring light into the world through one kind deed.

Everyone enjoyed the live music, hot latkes, and chocolate coins, but, above all, it was the joyous spirit of Chanukah that warmed the spirits of all attendees. As one attendee put it, “Today’s hands-on Chanukah experience has so excited us and we will remember it for life!”

Chabad thanks the following sponsors: Executive Limo, Napoleon Car/Limo Service, Gutterman’s Memorial Chapel, magician Mark Warner, and many other anonymous sponsors. For more information about the Chabad of Merrick programs, visit or call Chaya at 516-833-3057.