The Livingston Oval was the site of the town’s first menora-lighting on public property on the first night of Hanukka, Dec. 20. Eliana Butler, a senior at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in, sent the following report.
Rabbi Eliezer Rubin, principal of Livingston’s Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, lit the menora adjacent to Livingston High School and across from Town Hall. During the ceremony, Mayor Rudy Fernandez spoke of the Township Committee’s dedication to putting together Livingston’s holiday. The display, he said, brings people from different faiths together “to represent the diversity that is Livingston.”
Deputy Mayor Stephen Santola noted that both the menora and the township’s holiday tree were located near Town Hall, and that those at the menora lighting could hear church bells playing. “We could not find a better way to represent the town,” Santola said. “We’re thrilled with that.” He praised brothers Mike and Peter Schofel and their family for donating the menora to the township. The family “has done so much for the town and the Chamber of Commerce and continues to just give and give and give,” he said, calling them “one of the greatest philanthropic families that you will ever find.” Santola promised the menora would be lit every year on the first night of Hanukka at the same location.
The lighting was attended by many local residents and students from the Kushner high school, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, and other local public and private schools. RKYHS faculty member Chana Krupka said, “The menora is beautiful,” and its lighting “is a stamp of Jewish perseverance.”
After lighting the menora, Rubin led the group of approximately 60 people in song, and praised the Kushner community for sharing the message of Hanukka. “I am proud of our school and our families and thank the Livingston Township for reconfirming our deep relationship and shared bonds.”