Chanukah services to light the season (ONLINE EXCLUSIVE)

Tonight, people worldwide will light candelabras to begin the eight-day Festival of Light. And local synagogues are inviting people to celebrate the Chanukah miracle.

“The Jewish people’s … main job was to light the darkness of the world. And Chanukah is the most significant holiday because it’s showing that power of lighting the darkness,” said Rabbi Noam Cohen.

This year, Chanukah begins at sunset on Tuesday, Dec. 16, and ends at nightfall on Wednesday, Dec. 24. It is the only Jewish holiday occurring in the second half of the month, Cohen said. As the moon wanes, “This is the time to light the darkness of the world.”

For those looking to celebrate, there is a menorah lighting on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. at Chabad of the Eastern Shore in Ocean City, Md., located at 137th Street.

On Wednesday, the temple will host a public party at 6:30 p.m. at Pemberton Coffee House in Salisbury, Md.

Everyone is welcome, and they don’t need to bring anything.

“I ask people to probably go online, let us know they’re coming, so we know how many people to prepare for,” Cohen said.

People can submit their names by clicking the “Contact Us” section of

Chabad-Ocean City is located in the Bayside Plaza at 13709 Coastal Highway. Call (410) 250-7770 for more information. The temple will have a winter break and resume regular services in mid-January.

Dinner with Temple Bat Yam

Located inland, Temple Bat Yam is hosting a Chanukah potluck dinner and Shabbat Service on Friday, Dec. 19. Guests should bring a covered-dish item to the free dinner, which begins at 6:15 p.m.

“Everybody brings a menorah, which is my favorite part,” said organizer Joan Kessler. “We light the candles, and we say the blessing. It’s so pretty.”
The social hall is filled with light from all the families’ menorahs.
The weekly Shabbat service begins at 8 p.m., followed by coffee, tea and dessert.

“Every service we have is open to the public,” Kessler said.

Those planning to attend the Chanukah Potluck Dinner should contact Kessler at (410) 641-8467 to tell her what dish they’re bringing. Anything is welcome, except dairy and desserts.

Temple Bat Yam is located at 11036 Worcester Highway, Berlin, Md., near Routes 90 and 113.

Learn more at or (410) 641-4311.