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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Menorah Lighting Dec. 16

By Susan Manning
Staff writer
Kicking off Hanukkah this year will be similar to the past few: a menorah lighting in Montenegro Square.
Sha’arei Shalom President Carolyn Fertig said all are welcome to this annual event. 
The synagogue purchased a menorah several years ago and have been hosting this community menorah lighting every year in Montenegro Square in Downtown Ashland. 
“Join us for a fun community gathering led Rabbi Craig Marantz. We’ll say the Hanukkah blessings and sing some traditional songs as we light the big menorah. Non-members welcome!” Fertig said.
The lighting will be held Sunday, Dec. 10, from 6:15 – 7 PM, in 
Montenegro Square – 100-196 Main St, Ashland.
Fertig said many people are involved in planning the event.
“This is a group effort planned by the Sha’arei Shalom board, Ritual Committee, School Committee, our lay leaders and Rabbi Craig,” she said.
Although the menorah is not a candle — it is electric, and just gets plugged in — there is still someone who gets the honor of “lighting it.“
“Since it is electronic, we just plug it in to light the candle and/or turn the menorah on and give that honor to someone right on the spot that evening. No specific person is assigned ahead of time,” she said.
The menorah lighting is open to anyone who wants to attend.
Fertig said the synagogue invites Town Manager Michael Herbert, as well as Ashland Police Chief Cara Rossi.  
In addition to lighting the menorah, there will be songs, and a small token for children. 
“We recite the blessing for lighting the menorah. There will be some Hanukkah-oriented comments from the Rabbi. We sing a few Hannukah songs and we give Hanukkah chocolate gelt to the kids who are present,” she said.
Sha’arei Shalom is a small, member-driven community synagogue based in Ashland. Services are held twice a month throughout the year. More information can be found online at