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Kingston's JCC celebrates Hanukkah

Sunday night was the final night of Hanukkah, which meant returning a holiday tradition in Luzerne County.

KINGSTON, Pa. — People of the Jewish faith wrapped up the holiday of Hanukkah on Sunday. 

In Luzerne County, a decades-old Hanukkah tradition took place in a new location.

A team of runners carried the light of Hanukkah across the river from Wilkes-Barre to light up the menorah at the Friedman Jewish Community Center in Kingston.

"This time of year, as Jews, sometimes you feel a little invisible. And it's nice to see our lights go past, and the more light, the better, it's a pretty dark time of year," said Joe Kraus, a runner at the event.

Like the torch that lights the menorah on the final night of Hanukkah, the JCC has been carrying on this tradition for 52 years.

"We come together as a community, and I've been doing it long enough that the people we were running with were babies or not even born the first couple times I did it. So, that's really nice. It gives a sense of a community that's sustaining itself and moving forward," said Krauss.

The tradition was just the same, but this is the first time it has been held at the community center's new location along S J Strauss Lane in the borough.

"Haven't really had the opportunity here with Covid hitting, and this has been a great light in the middle of all of this, to be able to do this celebration together," said Cantor Ahron Abraham with the JCC of Kingston.

The final night of the 8-night holiday is when the menorah shines the brightest, and organizers say the same can be said for the community.

"We are all one big community working together, and that's what's important. It's time for all of us to come together, and it's important that we do this every year," said Barbara Sugarman with the JCC of Kingston.

Want to see more holiday stories? Check out the WNEP YouTube channel.   

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