South Florida Jews adjust Hanukkah celebrations to coronavirus pandemic


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The diverse Jewish community in South Florida is celebrating Hanukkah with outdoor activities and smaller gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dozens gathered around the outdoor lighting of the menorah, the ancient Hebrew candelabra, on Lincoln Road on Thursday night.

Rabbi Zev Katz, of the Chabad Jewish Synagogue, was at the outdoor ceremony praying and singing on Lincoln Road in South Beach.

“You have got to show the love from a distance,” Katz said.

Sabbath restrictions on the use of electronic devices do not apply to Hanukkah, so many families are opting for virtual celebrations.

Benjamin Enfield said his family is among those who decided to cancel the big family feast. He said he is not upset because he knows they will get together next year when it’s safer because they will have the protection of the coronavirus vaccine.

Tammy Woldenberg, of theGreater Miami Jewish Federation, was at the Kosher food distribution drive-thru event. They had Hanukkah gifts for the children.

“We are trying to make things better for people who are really struggling,” Woldenberg said.

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