Everything you wanted to know about...

The Downtown Menorah

What is it?

The annual Grand Menorah Lighting in Downtown Cleveland. One of many thousands taking place worldwide, with over 10 of them in the Cleveland area, as detailed by the CJN.

When is it?

Wednesday night, the 4th night of Chanukah, December 9th, 2015 at 5:45 p.m. Perfect time when on your way out of your workday looking to wind down, and also early enough to bring the family over to downtown.

Where is it?

Usually held at Public Square, due to construction it will be held at Cuyahoga County’s Fort Huntington Park. It is located at the corner of W. Lakeside Ave. and W. 3rd St. across the Justice Center, next to the Old Courthouse.

Why downtown?

It’s time to face reality. This is becoming the relevant center of town. In addition to the opportunity to celebrate our holidays in freedom at the core of our city with the business commuters, it is now also a hotbed of Jewish millennials and baby boomers.

Who is it for?

The entire community is invited to join, even children. This year is also named Hakhel, in which we aim to increase assemblies of Jewish people.

How do I get there?

If you live or work downtown, it’s just a walk to the park. If you drive, come down through St. Clair or Lakeside Ave. or you can choose to take the train into Terminal Tower. Fort Huntington Park is a mere 3 blocks away.

Where can I park?

Parking is available at nearby lots between Public Square and W. 6th for a small fee. There are no games then — so no special event prices, and it’s the end of workday. Metered spots are mostly unavailable due to rush-hour restrictions.

What if I’m part of the Car Menorah parade?

There will be a designated lane on Lakeside Ave. in front of the park reserved for the car Menorah procession, as they will also have difficulty parking in a low ceiling garage.

Wait, what is this Car Menorah Parade?

There will a car procession sporting Menorah’s on their top coming down from Beachwood to the Menorah lighting. Watch out for them as they arrive at the lighting with police escort, definitely a sight to see!

Can I be part of this procession?

If you have a car Menorah, sure! See this Facebook event for more info. If you would like to borrow a car Menorah for use during the parade, fill out this form. There are limited quantities on a first come basis.

What will happen at the event?

Saw the flier? We will be gathering together to celebrate Chanukah. Dance to live music. See the large Menorah being lit. Mingle with public officials and lay leaders. Enjoy some hot chocolate and cappuccino, chocolate Chanukah Gelt, potato Latkes, donuts and more. All items are Pareve, dairy-free.

Anything I can get for coming?

Yes, a chance to win a Polaroid inkless pocket color photo printer! Make sure to bring your business card along and drop it in the designated pot to enter the raffle. It will take place at the conclusion of the event, and the winner will be contacted.

And the kids?

They will be receiving glowsticks and entertained by The Flower Clown with balloons that they can take home, in addition to the yummy Chanukah nosh.

So by joining, did I perform the Mitzvah of the Menorah too?

Lighting the Menorah is a Mitzvah that should take place at private homes, in addition to Synagogues and public places. A generous donor has sponsored Menorah kits, in response to the darkness happening in the US and around the world these days. If you or someone you know does not yet have a Menorah to fulfil the Mitzvah, please contact us to receive your complimentary Menorah kit. They will be available throughout this event as well.

What is your rain date?

Rain or shine, this event will happen. It might be cold, it might be snowy. But if it rains, there will be a large canopy set up.

Are there restrooms?

Good question. We are working with the County to locate an appropriate location. Keep in mind the formal program will be about a half an hour only.

What is the cost to attend?

Free! We encourage people to celebrate Judaism in the most proud and open manner, something Jews throughout the generations weren’t as privileged to do. This is a great opportunity to do so, as Chanukah also has a universal message.

Who is sponsoring all of this?

This event is made possible by our dear sponsors, as can be seen on the event flier. Thank you all so much! If you see any of the people associated with a sponsoring company at the event, please thank them too! All our funding comes from local donors such as you, and every penny stays here as well. It’s not too late to join! Click here to donate, and note in the comments “Chanukah.” We will be forever thankful, and you will feel good about it too!

How do I RSVP?

Simple! Go to the Facebook event, mark that you’re going, and make sure to share the event and invite your friends as well.