Students and faculty celebrate first night of Hanukkah with doughnuts and music

President Daniele Struppa lit the first Hanukkah candle on Chapman’s menorah outside the Fish Interfaith Center Dec. 12. The short ceremony was led by Rabbi Eliezer Gurary, and Chapman’s Director of Jewish Life Rabbi Corie Yutkin.

The Chapman community celebrated the start of the Jewish Festival of Lights with traditional chocolate coins called gelt, potato pancakes called latkes, dinner and music. Students were also served “sufganiyot,” which are jelly-filled doughnuts traditionally eaten during Hanukkah.

For some students, the celebration was a break from finals, but Yutkin noted the deeper meaning of the event.

“This is an opportunity to bring light into the darkness and make sure we have conversations finding similarities instead of differences. We get to celebrate the light that’s in our communities,” Yutkin said.

University President Daniele Struppa lights the first candle on Chapman’s menorah outside of the Fish Interfaith Center Dec. 12 to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. Photos by Catie Kovelman

Students enjoyed latkes – a potato pancake traditionally eaten during the holiday – and other food after the Dec. 12 menorah lighting.

Attendees were invited to guess how many dreidels were in a jar in order to win a prize.

President Daniele Struppa (left) and Rabbi Eliezer Gurary (center) look on as Daniel Levine (right), the director of programming at Chapman Hillel, leads the blessing over the Hanukkah candles Dec. 12.

Students ate sufganiyot, which are fried jelly-filled doughnuts served during the Hanukkah season.

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