This year Penn State Hillel is adding a little "innovation" to their yearly Hanukkah celebration. Last year the organization only held one event, but this year there will be "The 8 Crazy Nights of Hanukkah."
Hillel Treasurer Beth Rudoy explained that this year they wanted to hold an event for each night. From Hillel stems other Jewish organizations, such as Jews in Greek Life, that will host a theme for each night. Rudoy said that there will be a variety of events that will cater to a variety of people.
According to the Penn State Hillel's website, there will be a candle lighting ceremony prior to the start of each event. Rudoy said that Hanukkah is more of a cultural celebration than a religious one, and that this creates a greater range of people that can join in on the events.
Rudoy said Hillel's message is to spread the Jewish culture on campus, and mentioned that recently the group won the Philip H. Cohen and Susan Rudd Cohen Campus of Excellence Award. As previously reported in the Daily Collegian, the award honors Hillels that have empowered student leadership, education, and engagement.
Rudoy said the Hanukkah events of this year are a "fun way to reach out" to the greater Penn State community.
Carla Golden, a member of Penn State Hillel's women's group, will be hosting the event "Your Body is a Temple" happening Dec. 13. She said that here event coincides with the Jewish month of "Tevet," which deals with the destruction of the temple. She said that for this theme, her group will focus on the body as a temple.
"We're going to rebuild our bodies as temples," she said.
She continued that what is great about the branch organizations of Hillel is that the show "different ways to celebrate Judaism." She said that this allows her group to focus on the values of Jewish women.
Chabad of Penn State will also be holding a festivity for the festival of lights. According to their website, the organization will be holding their twelfth annual public menorah lighting. The website says the event will be Sunday night and it will be "the lighting of the largest menorah in north-central Pennsylvania" at nine feet tall.