‘Spreading light’ during Hanukkah

Students, faculty, and staff gathered across campus on Dec. 7, celebrating the first night of Hanukkah.

A crowd of people by a large menorah in front of College Hall.

Hanukkah this year began the evening of Dec. 7 and extends through Dec. 15. On the first night, students, faculty, and staff across campus came together to sing, pray, and light the menorah’s candle. The Penn Band joined, playing traditional Hanukkah songs.

One gathering led by the Chabad Lubavitch House at Penn, outside of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library near the Split Button sculpture, also offered traditional bites including latkes and donuts, and take-home, boxed menorahs and candles.

The Penn Band playing in front of College Hall at a Hanukkah ceremony.
People speaking outside Van Pelt Library by a large menorah.
A crowd outside Van Pelt Library and a large menorah to celebrate the start of Hanukkah.
People serving themselves food at a Hanukkah gathering in front of College Hall.
Penn community members gathered at the Split Button on campus to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.

“Happy Hanukkah,” said Rabbi Levi Haskelevich to the crowd, noting that it is “a time of miracles, a time of light.”

“When I think of Hanukkah, I think of spreading light, even in so much darkness,” added Chabad student board president Elizabeth Zemlyansky. “And we are the people that can do that.”

Over at Penn Hillel, similar celebrations took place, with Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro in attendance, too.

Visit Chabad House at Penn and Penn Hillel websites and social media to stay up to date on upcoming Hanukkah events on campus.