At this year's Pearl Street Hanukkah celebration, the menorah wasn't the only symbol of resilience. The Crocs that covered it were meant to be symbolic, too.
Much to the surprise of some at Monday night's lighting ceremony, Chabad Lubavitch of Boulder County presented a menorah completely covered with Crocs. The Boulder-based shoemaker partnered with Chabad Lubavitch to sponsor the event and donate 50 pairs of shoes to people affected by the September floods. Jessica Adams of Living Design Studio was asked to cover the large menorah with the rubbery, fur-lined clogs.
"It was more like an encouragement to give back to the community. We're resilient. We'll get through it," said Chany Scheiner, co-director of Chabad Lubavitch of Boulder County. "The Jewish people have this resiliency all through history. It hasn't been easy and they've gone through a lot and you keep on going."
Resilience was a prevalent theme through the hour-long celebration, as strong gusts of wind brought the temperature down, knocked the menorah over early on and made it impossible to keep the flames lit for long. Still, the crowd happily chowed down on sufganiyot (a jelly donut) and sang along with Denver Jewish music educator Steve Brodsky, all while wearing glowing dreidel glasses.
Before Boaz Meir from the Jewish National Fund had the honor of lighting the menorah, Rabbi Pesach Scheiner reminded everyone of the importance of keeping their own lit menorahs by a window. It's part of the Hanukkah tradition to share the light.
"Such a special holiday, that it can illuminate the world outside," Scheiner said.
Jonathan Lev, executive director of the Boulder Jewish Community Center, was also on hand to say a few words about the Jewish community in Boulder and the JCC's progress in building itself a new home. The project has raised at least $18 million through donations to its Cornerstone Capital Campaign; JCC's plans go before the City Council for review and public comment on Jan. 21.
"Part of what is great about the Boulder Jewish community is the way they come together," Lev said.
Looking ahead to a new year, both Rabbi Pesach Scheiner and Chany Scheiner hoped for not just continued resiliency from Boulderites, but for the community to come back better than before.
"Judaism teaches that when you go down, you go back up higher, and that's what Hanukkah is about," Rabbi Scheiner said.
"We were flooded by bad things we didn't expect," Chany Scheiner said. "I just hope that, this year, all of us can be flooded with good things we don't expect."