“Mr. Brooklyn” wished observers a happy holiday by boarding a cherry picker to illuminate a 29-foot-tall menorah as part of Chanukah festivities in Downtown Brooklyn.
The lighting of the Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht Menorah — billed “the largest menorah in Downtown Brooklyn” — had visitors making a beeline for Borough Hall Plaza, between Court and Adams streets, where they participated in a program of seasonal cheer, led by Borough President Marty Markowitz and Rabbi Aaron Raskin, from Congregation B’nai Avraham in Brooklyn Heights.
The assemblage enjoyed musical performances by the Sparks Boys Choir and Aden, plus holiday refreshments, gelt (money), latkes and treats, before heading inside Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, for a children’s celebration, featuring Chanukah prizes and a comedy magic show.
The menorah and its counterpart in Grand Army Plaza, sponsored by Rabbi Shimon Hecht of Park Slope, are the subject of a light-hearted, ongoing rivalry based on their size — Rabbi Hecht’s is, reportedly, a foot taller. The rivaling rabbis are also related — Shimon is Aaron’s uncle, and the official menorah is named in memory of Shimon’s father.