Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, friends, supporters, local celebrities and dignitaries will gather at the Heinz History Center for IllumiNER ExtraordiNER, presented by the Agency for Jewish Learning (AJL), to light Pittsburgh’s largest Menorah on Wednesday, December 4th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The 10-foot long Menorah will be filled with canned foods, and attendees are asked to bring a standard size (14.5-15 oz.) canned food item to place inside the Menorah, which will be donated to the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry (SHCFP) after the celebration. SHCFP is a program of JF&CS which serves more than 1,200 individuals and families in the Squirrel Hill community, as well as kosher households throughout the region.
“We are so grateful to the AJL for choosing the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry as the beneficiary of this beautiful and significant community project,” said Matthew Bolton, SHCFP director. “We’re moved by the spirit of our community members’ extraordinary generosity in helping us fulfill our mission of serving hungry families and individuals. The Menorah is a wonderful way of bringing the community together to visualize the impact of their support and what they help us achieve at SHCFP.”
The Menorah is an artistic constellation that was designed by the local design team of Batia Rascoe and Janet Longenecker, and crafted by a local craftsman, Mr. C. W. Kreimer at TechShop in East Liberty. The ten-foot long menorah design was inspired by Rascoe’s intention to build a structure that would highlight the process of community building.
“When people arrive, they could feel that their contribution of canned food is what makes this Menorah so meaningful and radiant,” Rascoe said. “It gives them a feeling of creating something big together, which is so significant.”
Collaboration and partnership is crucial to continuing our necessary and impactful work throughout our communities. At this special time, when Chanukah and Thanksgiving come together, we’re extraordinarily grateful for our many community partners, funders and supporters who recognize the importance of our work and help us to continue to serve those who turn to us in times of need. Thank you to the AJL for choosing SHCFP as the beneficiary of this wonderful community project, and to those who have chosen to partner with us in so many ways. We could not achieve as much as we do without your partnership and support.
IllumiNER ExtraordiNER is presented by AJL, and is sponsored by Duquesne Light, First Niagara Bank and Fragasso Financial Advisors. Admission is free and open to all community members, and-the program includes live entertainment and light refreshments. We hope to see you there!
For more information about how you can volunteer or help support the work of SHCFP, please visit www.sqfoodpantry.org or call 412-421-2708. For more information about how you can support JF&CS and our programs, visit www.jfcspgh.org or call 412-422-7200.