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For the first time ever, menorah will be lit for Light Up York

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Krystal Younglove, of York City, poses with children for photos during Light Up York in York City, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Just more than a year after the deadly Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, a menorah will be lit for the first time at this weekend's Light Up York event.

The menorah, at least 5 feet tall, will be lit alongside the city's Christmas tree during the annual event scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in Continental Square, according to the York Jewish Community Center.

"People don't know much about (Judaism) because they don't have enough opportunity to learn," said Dani Fessler, CEO of the York JCC. "If you understand, that's a very important step forward in facing something you maybe think is threatening or have prejudice against."

The York JCC first reached out to city officials about lighting a menorah following the October 2018 synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, which left 11 dead and seven injured.

The incident prompted waves of support for the Jewish community nationwide. Gov. Tom Wolf also visited York City to honor the victims in an event that drew hundreds of residents.

Fessler said he hopes familiarizing the community with Jewish culture during Hanukkah — which lasts from Dec. 22 to Dec. 30 — will educate residents and highlight the city's diversity.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.