Feature, Local News

Hanukkah Night 6: Winter storm can’t stop celebration, as Jim and Patty Himmel light menorah

The Village of Flossmoor is not to be deterred from its community celebration of Hanukkah.

Despite wind chills in the negative double-digits, Jim and Patty Himmel, of Flossmoor, lit the community menorah on the sixth night of the Jewish holiday, Friday, Dec. 23.

“We just know to get here at 5 p.m., make it quick and get back in the car,” Jim said.

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Patty and Jim Himmel, of Flossmoor, lit the candles on the community menorah during Night 6 of an ongoing Hanukkah
celebration at Flossmoor Park. (Bill Jones/H-F Chronicle)

Jim noted his family was in the retail business over the years, so they always found it easier to get together on Christmas, when stores were closed. So they will once again be getting together with family on Sunday, Dec. 25.

But the couple has also been lighting the menorah every night at home. And they have attended most nights of the public celebration at Flossmoor Park.

“It’s a dwindling community,” Jim said of the Jewish population and temples in the area. “We’ve got to support it. The village is making the effort, so we participate.”

Patty added, “We appreciate the village doing their thing.”

Flossmoor has been lighting the public menorah for Hanukkah since 2017, according to Stephanie Wright, the village’s program and event coordinator. Last year, a kinara was installed next to the menorah to celebrate Kwanzaa from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. Those celebrations add to a community tree lighting, which has been taking place since circa 2004.

“It is important to highlight all three holidays, because they remind us of community-building principles that are also core to each of the celebrations, such as the importance of kindness and inclusion, new beginnings, and working together to leave our village and region better than we found it,” Nelson said. “Gathering together and learning that even though we may celebrate the season differently, our values are pretty similar. That’s a beautiful and powerful thing.”

Wright said the village values inclusion and representation, and lighting the tree, menorah and kinara in the same space in Flossmoor Park makes for a “tangible way to display that value.” 

“There are folks who come out to all three events to be supportive of other faiths and ways of celebrating and to learn,” Nelson added. “The feedback I’ve received is that people are pleasantly surprised to hear how the themes of each celebration serve as a foundation for a strong village. The celebrations remind us of what is truly important in this season of lights and joy: being mindful and present for each other all year long.”

Hanukkah Night 6: Winter storm can’t stop celebration, as Jim and Patty Himmel light menorah

Bill Jones

The Village of Flossmoor is not to be deterred from its community celebration of Hanukkah.

Despite wind chills in the negative double-digits, Jim and Patty Himmel, of Flossmoor, lit the community menorah on the sixth night of the Jewish holiday, Friday, Dec. 23.

“We just know to get here at 5 p.m., make it quick and get back in the car,” Jim said.

Jim noted his family was in the retail business over the years, so they always found it easier to get together on Christmas, when stores were closed. So they will once again be getting together with family on Sunday, Dec. 25.

But the couple has also been lighting the menorah every night at home. And they have attended most nights of the public celebration at Flossmoor Park.

“It’s a dwindling community,” Jim said of the Jewish population and temples in the area. “We’ve got to support it. The village is making the effort, so we participate.”

Patty added, “We appreciate the village doing their thing.”

Flossmoor has been lighting the public menorah for Hanukkah since 2017, according to Stephanie Wright, the village’s program and event coordinator. Last year, a kinara was installed next to the menorah to celebrate Kwanzaa from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. Those celebrations add to a community tree lighting, which has been taking place since circa 2004.

“It is important to highlight all three holidays, because they remind us of community-building principles that are also core to each of the celebrations, such as the importance of kindness and inclusion, new beginnings, and working together to leave our village and region better than we found it,” Nelson said. “Gathering together and learning that even though we may celebrate the season differently, our values are pretty similar. That’s a beautiful and powerful thing.”

Wright said the village values inclusion and representation, and lighting the tree, menorah and kinara in the same space in Flossmoor Park makes for a “tangible way to display that value.” 

“There are folks who come out to all three events to be supportive of other faiths and ways of celebrating and to learn,” Nelson added. “The feedback I’ve received is that people are pleasantly surprised to hear how the themes of each celebration serve as a foundation for a strong village. The celebrations remind us of what is truly important in this season of lights and joy: being mindful and present for each other all year long.”

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