Community News

Federation and City of Los Angeles Host Fifth-Annual Hanukkah Celebration Downtown

Los Angeles “First Daughter” Maya stole the show – and the microphone – Tuesday as her dad lit the hanukkiah in the City Hall Rotunda.

The toddler charmed photojournalists, city staffers and elected officials alike as they gathered to bring the Festival of Lights to the City of Angels. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles collaborated with the Mayor’s Office to host the public Hanukkah menorah-lighting ceremony, replete with traditional sweets and music. Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein, senior rabbi of University Synagogue in Los Angeles, led Consul General of Israel David Siegel, Mayor Eric Garcetti and his wife, Amy Wakeland, Councilmembers Paul Krekorian, Bob Blumenfield, Tom LaBonge, Paul Koretz, Joe Buscaino and other civic leaders in song. The Hanukkah tunes included “Maoz Tzur (Rock of Ages),” “Ocho Kandelikas” (in Ladino, a pidgin language combining Spanish and Hebrew), and “Hanukkah! Oh Hanukkah.”

City staff of many faiths joined the community Hanukkah party, from City Attorney’s office workers and Channel 35 public access reporters to the newly-elected City Councilmember (former State Assemblymember) Bob Blumenfeld. The Federation served fresh sufganiyot – Israeli jelly donuts, a traditional, fried Hanukkah treat – and, of course, hot coffee. What better way to warm up City Hall on a chilly December afternoon? Maya, however, drank milk.