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Exam week doesn’t stop Hanukkah celebrations

Students celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
Students celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.

This year, Miami University’s finals week overlapped with Hanukkah, leaving students to celebrate on campus and not with their families. The Jewish holiday started the night of Dec. 7 and spans eight days, ending on Dec. 15, the last day of exams.

This has not stopped students from celebrating the holiday, though. On Dec. 7, Miami’s Chabad chapter lit an ice menorah at The Seal where more than 70 people attended from both the Oxford and Miami communities.

Rabbi Yossi Greenberg said a few words before Miami’s President Gregory Crawford lit the menorah.

“These menorahs proclaim the message of ‘Am Yisrael Chai.’ Jewish people and specifically students should be proud and stand tall for who they are. Stand proud and tall of their Jewish identity and proclaim ‘Am Yisrael Chai,’” Greenberg said. “The Jewish people are alive and well here on campus, and all over the world.”

Reid Sline, a first-year engineering management major, went to the first-night menorah lighting to celebrate the start of Hanukkah, even if he can’t be with his family.

“I’m a bit sad that I'm not going to be able to spend it with family,” Sline said. “However, I'm planning after this to FaceTime them because they're an hour behind, so we're going to light candles with them.”

Sline wasn’t the only one celebrating the start of the holidays. Isabella Holsman, a first-year strategic communication and fashion major, went to the lighting too and was surprised at the amount of people there, but excited all the same.

“I'm definitely sad that I can't spend this with my family, but I'm happy that I have the community here,” Holsman said. “It makes it feel like home.”

The event wasn’t exclusive to Jewish students, either. Layla Johnson, a sophomore neuroscience and biology major, said she loves going to the Hillel and Chabad events with her friends even though she isn’t Jewish.

“My roommate is Jewish so we have the menorah, and we light that every night,” Johnson said. “... They've let me in on their family dinners and things like that.

The night ended with a large spread of food, upbeat music and many pictures.

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