JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The scene of the Jersey City shootout became a symbol of hope and perseverance on Sunday night, the first night of Chanukah.
Members of the community gathered to celebrate the holiday, and remember the lives of those recently lost, CBS2’s Nick Caloway reported.
In front of the kosher market that was attacked on Dec. 10, the menorah was lit by the brother of Mindel Ferencz, who was killed in the market.
“I know that Mindy would be uplifted to see the outpouring of support we have received from the Jersey City residents and from all over the world, from every race and religion,” Yoely Greenfield said.
Jersey City police officers who were injured in the firefight were also honored. Raymond Sanchez was presented an award from school children whose lives were saved that day by those heroic officers.
The wife of Douglas Rodriguez also attended. Rodriguez is being remembered as a hero after he died helping others escape the market.
“She says hate cannot conquer love,” Marta Rodriguez Freire said through a translator.
A similar menorah lighting was also held just a few miles away in Hoboken. Rabbi Moshe Schapiro of the Chabad of Hoboken said it was a display of unity between the two cities right at the start of Chanukah.
The message at both these menorah lightings was simple: with so much darkness, the world needs more light.
“Despite all the darkness, we’re going to bring a little bit of light to the cold, dark streets, and just brighten up the world with a little bit more light and kindness,” Schapiro said.
He said that begins with freedom of religion.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal was also at the menorah lighting. He said police patrols have been increased across the state in an effort to prevent more attacks like the one in Jersey City.
In New York City, the biggest menorah in Brooklyn was lit Sunday night at Grand Army Plaza. A rabbi used a 60-foot lift to reach the top, as thousands gathered below to celebrate.
The menorah uses kerosene lanterns with special glass chimneys that protect the flames.
The longstanding tradition, which includes live music and hot latkes, has been happening at Grand Army Plaza since 1985.