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  • Touro University California Celebrates Chanukah with Menorah Lighting and Festivities For Local Community

For Immediate Release

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

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

Touro University California Celebrates Chanukah with Menorah Lighting and Festivities For Local Community

(Vallejo, CA – December 7, 2015)

Touro University California commemorates the start of the Judaic holiday of Chanukah with a festive event this Monday, December 7. The celebration kicks off at 11:30 am and is open to the campus and local community. The highlight will be the Menorah lighting, led by campus Rabbi Elchonon Tenenbaum.

"The Menorah serves as a symbol of Touro's dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship freely, openly, and with pride," said Rabbi Tenenbaum. "Specifically in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution, the Menorah takes on profound significance, embodying both religious and constitutional principles."

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people who defeated a ruthless enemy that had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life, prohibit religious freedom and force the Jewish people to accept a foreign religion. During the occupation of Jerusalem and the Temple, the Syrian Greeks desecrated and defiled the oils prepared for the lighting of the Menorah, which was part of the daily service in the temple. Upon recapturing the Temple from the Syrian Greeks, the Jewish people found only one jar of undefiled oil, enough to burn only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight days until new, pure olive oil was produced.

In commemoration of this event, the Jewish people celebrate Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a Menorah. The Menorah is placed in highly-visible place to publicize the miracle, with its message of hope and religious freedom, to all. Today, people of all faiths consider the Chanukah holiday as a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.

Touro University California’s celebration includes live music by the Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble and traditional holiday treats including Sufganiyot (jelly donuts), Latkes and Chocolate coins.

Monday, December 7
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Touro University California - Lander Hall
1310 Club Drive
Mare Island
Vallejo, CA 94592

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: www.touro.edu/news