World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah Will Be Lit By Its Designer, Yaacov Agam

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Press Releases, Yaacov Agam

World-renowned kinetic artist, Yaacov Agam, pioneered a new art form which stresses change and movement. Agam has been a member of the Park West Gallery family of artists for over 30 years.

Yaacov Agam. "Star of Chanukah" (1993). Park West Gallery.NEW YORK, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ — The World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah is proudly standing at New York’s most fashionable plaza, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, by Central Park, between the Plaza and the Pierre Hotels. The Menorah will be lit on all evenings of Chanukah. The first candle of Chanukah will be lit Friday, December 11 at 12:30 PM by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Charles Schumer. On Sunday, December 13 the Menorah will be lit by Yaacov Agam and Senator Schumer at 5:30 PM.

“The Menorah stands as a symbol of freedom and democracy, strength and inspiration, delivering a timely and poignant message to each person on an individual basis,” said Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, who will light the Menorah nightly together with the special dignitaries.

The Menorah, certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the World’s Largest, and sponsored by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, was specially designed by world-renowned artist Yaacov Agam. It was inspired by a hand drawing by the Rambam (Maimonides) of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

The Menorah stood in miniature on the desk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who personally OK’d its form. The Rebbe wanted this Menorah to be the largest and when there was talk about making a large Menorah in another city the Rebbe asked for that city’s Menorah to be smaller.

The 32-foot high, gold-colored, 4,000 pound steel structure will be lit nightly with genuine oil lamps. Specially designed glass chimneys will protect the Chanukah lights from the Central Park winds.

Due to the height of the Menorah, it will be lit nightly with the help of a Con Edison “cherry-picker” crane as well as two lifts that will lift the lighters to the “Menorah Heights.”


“The Rebbe liked this Menorah,” said Yaacov Agam. “The Rebbe sent me a special letter thanking me, emphasizing that ‘wherever there is light there is shadow.'”

Hundreds of Millions to View Menorah

The lighting of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah is always the central event of Chanukah for the millions of residents of New York and visitors to the Big Apple. It is also a favorite with the international media who put the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah in the center of their “Chanukah story,” bringing the World’s Largest Menorah into the homes of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.

On Sunday evening, December 13th, special Chanukah celebrations will take place at the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah. The celebration will include live music, singing and dancing, “Chanukah Gelt” for the children and hot “Latkes” (potato pancakes), the traditional food of Chanukah, will be distributed to everyone. “We want people to ‘taste’ the tradition,” said Rabbi Butman.

A Campaign for Millions

New York’s most popular radio stations, WCBS and WINS, will carry a steady Chanukah call to millions of people to “Come light the Menorah.” The message of Rabbi Butman is for everyone to light the Menorah in their own home, “It’s exciting, it’s triumphant. It’s many voices as one cheering light over darkness, joy over sorrow, freedom over oppression.”

“The prominence of the Menorah carries an additional message,” adds Rabbi Butman. “The Rebbe teaches that soon there will be another light, an eternal light, the eternal light of Moshiach, the eternal light of the Great Redemption.”

The lighting schedule for the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah is as follows:

• Friday, December 11 – 12:30 PM
• Shabbos (Saturday) evening, December 12 – 8:00 PM
• Sunday, December 13 – 5:30 PM
• Monday, December 14 – 5:30 PM
• Tuesday, December 15 – 5:30 PM
• Wednesday, December 16 – 5:30 PM
• Thursday, December 17 – 5:30 PM
• Friday, December 18 – 3:45 PM

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