Menorah-rama


Last night, my wife and I were privileged to be invited to the home of Sid and Shuey Horowitz, a couple that has been collecting Chanukah Menorahs (Chanukiyot) for about 40 years. In the last 15 years or so, the couple has invited over 100 people to their home during Chanukah (Hanukkah, if you prefer the alternative transliteration) for a large party in which dozens of Menorahs are lit, and guests are encouraged to bring their own.

The entire operation is very well organized — the garage of the Bridgewater, NJ home is converted into a Menorah shrine, with fire-proof tables set up along the three walls.

Want to see all of these lit? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Over the years Sid Horowitz, a retired dentist, has collected many menorahs, most of them given as gifts. Some of them are very old and fragile and cannot be lit anymore.

This is an unusual one in which every candle is a figurine that represents a different Jewish holiday.

This is a unique, one-of-a-kind menorah that was made by his grandchildren.

Just one of the garage walls being prepped. This is the 4th night of Chanukah so only five candles per menorah are going to be lit. They’ve done it on the 8th day in previous years but the room gets extremely hot. No electronic menorahs are allowed, they all have to be Candle or Oil menorahs.

Wendy Horowitz, Sid and Shuey’s daughter-in-law and the majordomo of Latke production. With a party this big, you need to produce a huge amount of latkes, so frozen store-bought ones were used. The party includes a large buffet table of a Kosher Taco Bar (not a traditional Chanukah meal, but for over 100 people, it’s a good idea to do a fix-your-own setup) Kosher Hot Dogs and of course, Latkes with all the fixin’s.

Rabbi Joel Abraham, of Congregation Beth Shalom in Scotch Plains was invited over to preside over the Havdalah blessing for the conclusion of Shabbos.

No Chanukah party is complete without games for the kids.  Here, a Pinata has been filled with candy and the children are invited to whack at it with a club until…

All the candy falls on the floor.

The lighting of the menorahs begin. It’s a time-consuming process that takes the entire crowd to do.

The traditional Chanukah menorah in the middle is the first one that Sid Horowitz acquired, it’s a very old one that he purchased in Venice, Italy.

This is the one that we brought for the occasion. My mother-in-law gifted it to us that evening, it was purchased many years ago. It’s hand-built and soldered together, made to look like the Wailing Wall in Israel.

There’s a huge variation in terms of what Chanukah Menorahs actually can look like, as there’s very few rules governing them. They need to have 9 candles, one for the “Shamash” or lighting candle and the rest for each day of Chanukah. Beyond that, you can make it look like anything.

This was one of the more decorative ones made by an Israeli artist.

The Horowitzes supplied special eyewear that produces a Star of David “starburst” effect when you look through them. I tried to capture this with my camera lens.

Nathan Weisman took this really cool one.

And this one (Nathan Weisman)

And this one. (Nathan Weisman)

Sid Horowitz, looking over his Menorahs.

Candle-eye view of one of the menorah tables. I think I burnt some hair off while taking this one.

Menorah Panorama (click to enlarge)

I love this shot.

The main wall, fully ablaze (click to enlarge)

Sid and Shuey.

I knew I would get yelled at if I didn’t have some food porn in this post. I didn’t take any food photos at the party, but here’s a shot of our dinner from earlier this week, on the second night. Rachel made traditional latkes and brisket.

The party itself is a dessert pot-luck. Rachel made home-made chocolate truffles for the occasion, flavored with different liqueurs.

6 Responses to Menorah-rama

  1. Elizabeth Sutaria says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate Hanukkah! The photos were so interesting–that surely is
    one of the best ways to share a special collection!

  2. Marcia says:

    Oh I just LOVE this!

  3. sandy nash says:

    LOVED seeing these photos – Thanks for sharing.

  4. In September, I visited the old Jewish Quarter in Venice, Italy, and brought home a beautiful menorah made from multi-colored Murano glass.

  5. Bembi Kantrowitz says:

    I’m the daughter who lives in Israel and misses out on seeing all the menorahs (or chanukiays as said in Israel) lit. The pictures are beautiful and capture a remarkable feeling seeing them all lit like that. I was glad to see the “grandchildren menorah” displayed – it is from my kids and we haven’t had a nice picture of it in a long time. The Horowitz’s parties are world famous. Anyone who gets an invitation feels special.

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