Drive in menorah lighting being held at the Utah State Capitol

Dec 10, 2020, 7:01 AM | Updated: 7:02 am

FILE -- Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah conducts the ceremony as the lighting of a m...

FILE -- Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah conducts the ceremony as the lighting of a menorah in the state Capitol rotunda marks the first night of Hanukkah in Salt Lake City Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News


SALT LAKE CITY – The Hanukkah celebration at the Utah State Capitol on Thursday will be like no other before. The annual menorah lighting is being held “drive-in” style. 

Usually, people gather under the Capitol rotunda for the lighting of the menorah. However, organizers had to rethink things this year because of COVID-19.

They will install the largest menorah in the history of Utah in Upper Parking Lot A on the east side of the capitol. People who want to see it can drive in and watch it get lit up from their cars. 

Rabbi Benny Zippel, the Executive Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, feels holding a drive-in style event upholds Jewish law while keeping everyone safe. 

“We don’t cancel the holiday but, at the same time, we don’t compromise our lives,” Rabbi Zippel said. “We believe that it was our duty to find a way to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah in the same way we’ve celebrated it until now, while not compromising the safety of the participants.” 

While Hanukkah is a joyous time for many, Thursday’s celebration won’t be just a parking lot party. 

Rabbi Zippel said the message of Hanukkah and lighting the menorah which symbolizes adding light, warmth, and love that continually increases from the previous night is especially needed this year.

“It’s a theme, which is powerful now more than ever. I think it’s something which this world needs more than ever: adding light and positivity and hope and courage and faith for the future,” he said.

Eight healthcare workers will also be honored during the event. 

“In order to show them the debt of gratitude that we hold in our hearts towards them for their remarkable dedication during this entire year of COVID[-19],” Rabbi Zippel said. 

The 12-foot menorah itself will also be dedicated to the late Allyson White Gamble who was the longtime director of the Utah State Capitol and passed away earlier this year.

Join with Governor Herbert, leaders from the Jewish community, and Healthcare Heroes, as the Festival of Lights is welcomed in at the Utah State Capitol!

Posted by Chabad Lubavitch of Utah on Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Utah Governor Gary Herbert is also expected to attend the event. 

The ceremony is scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m.


Inside Sources: Rabbi discusses healing a bitterly divided society

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News


Alex Cabrero

South Jordan residents react to thousands of tumbleweeds in front of their homes

As heavy winds blew through a Daybreak neighborhood in South Jordan, avoiding tumbleweeds kind of became a sport.

17 minutes ago

Salt Lake City International Airport is also being impacted by the winterstorm moving through Utah....

Mark Jones

Delays, cancelations reported at Salt Lake City International Airport

As of 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, airport officials said 146 flights had been delayed, which is 39% of the departing flights.

30 minutes ago

Screenshot taken from Rocky Mountain Power website. Thousands of customers are without power after ...

Derrick Jones

Power restored to thousands, work continues, after winter slams Utah

Rocky Mountain Power attributed the outages to power lines downed or damaged by the wind and snow.

5 hours ago

Dusk on the last day of the 2024 legislative session at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Frida...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko

The Utah 2024 Legislative Session is over. Here’s what lawmakers did

Utah lawmakers made the most out of the 2024 general legislative session, passing 591 bills, surpassing last year's previous high of 575.

8 hours ago

Tumbleweeds surround an Eagle Mountain home on March 2, 2024. (Photo credit: Brennen Katsos)...

Josh Ellis

High winds hit Wasatch Front as storm moves in

Winds will continue to increase over western Utah valleys Saturday ahead of a front and spread into southern Utah.

8 hours ago

A lone camper truck moves north bound on the I-80 at the Donner Pass Exit on Friday, March 1, 2024,...

SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press

Blizzard ‘as bad as it gets’ hits California, Nevada. Strip of I-80 shut down

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning through Sunday for a 300-mile stretch of the mountain range.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Drive in menorah lighting being held at the Utah State Capitol