Left to right are Rabbi Falik Schtroks, Jason Aginsky, Jessie Miller, Emily Miller and Rebbetzin Simie Schtroks. (photo by Naomi Nelson)
When Adina Ragetli, age 9, opened the annual public menorah lighting event on Dec. 17 at the Semiahmoo Shopping Centre by playing “Padah Bishalom” on the harp, “we knew it was going to be a ‘light-filled’ Chanukah program,” said Rabbi Falik Schtroks, co-director of the Centre for Judaism-Chabad of the Lower Fraser Valley (C4J).
Members of the Legislative Assembly Marvin Hunt and Tracey Redies, as well as White Rock Councilor Bill Lawrence and Surrey Councilor Mike Starchuk, each addressed the crowd with meaningful and timely messages. Chazzan Yaakov Orzech lit the chanukiyah and got everyone to join him in singing some Chanukah favourites. Prof. Rudy Rozanski entertained the audience with an arrangement of Jewish lullabies and music of Jewish composers.
Perhaps the greatest highlight of the evening was the 2017 Young Lamplighter Award, which was presented to Emily Miller and Jessie Miller. The young women devote a lot of their time to making life more pleasant for those who are struggling materially or emotionally. By spearheading the Live2Give program in their NCSY chapter, they are also managing to get many other teenagers involved in projects that are focused on helping others.
“Kudos to the supportive parents and grandparents of Emily and Jessie Miller. We know that these young women have great role models in their lives and that they were not raised in a vacuum,” said C4J co-director Simie Schtroks at the event.
A few rounds of “Let’s Make a Chanukah Deal” were played, and there were doughnuts, chocolate gelt, dreidel glasses and dreidels given out.
Rabbi Yitzchak and Henia Wineberg made it out from Vancouver on a very rainy evening to join the festivities. Marat Dreyshner and Ella Dreyshner donated the doughnuts and Moshe Chanowitz of Plaque Impact in Montreal made the beautiful awards.