For Immediate Release

Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement

W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 280-8771

Time to Experience Chanukah at Touro University California

(Vallejo, CA – November 14, 2013) –Rabbi Elchonon Tenenbaum is taking the Chanukah celebration to new heights at Touro University California with a special presentation of Ari Lesser, singer, songwriter, rapper and spoken work artist from Cleveland, Ohio! 

On Tuesday, December 3, from noon to 1 p.m., join Ari Lesser in the Lander Hall Auditorium as the artist takes the stage to perform an hour of inspirational and relevant songs. 

“This is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday of Chanukah,” said Rabbi Tenenbaum. “It’s a way to unite the individuals on campus, in the spirit of Chanukah and to enjoy an hour of entertainment and friendship. It’s bringing joy to our campus during the holiday season.” 

Complimentary jelly donuts will be served to all attending. Students, faculty and staff will also have an opportunity at winning raffle prizes! 

Ari’s experience includes worldwide performances and hundreds of songs written on a wide range of subjects. His repertoire is expansive, touching on everything from history to science to Star Wars, but his focus and passion is making music based on the Torah. 

Adding flair to his stage performances, Ari manages to step into character and raps from the perspective of various personalities in the Bible. He’s also created rhymed translations of about one-third of the Book of Psalms, bringing their powerful message back in the realm of songs. No doubt, Ari brings the Torah to life in a way that is inspirational, educational, and entertaining for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. 

This year, Chanukah begins the evening of Wednesday, November 27 and concludes the evening of Thursday, December 5, 2013. Chanukah, which is also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It is observed by the kindling of the nine-branched Menorah, lighting one candle each night of the holiday.

It is rare that Chanukah and Thanksgiving overlaps. However, this is the fourth time it’s occurred and will overlap again in 2070. 

The event is free and open to the community. 


Why will jelly donuts be served during this celebration? 

When the Maccabees liberated the Temple from the hands of the Greek invaders, they found only a small amount of olive oil fit for fueling the Menorah – enough to last one day only. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days. To commemorate the miracle that occurred with oil, foods fried in oil, such as donuts and latkes, are eaten.

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About the Touro College and University System:

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro has 35 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Illinois, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: