The Akron Jewish community celebrated the last night of Chanukah with a Zoom broadcast from the Summit Mall in Fairlawn, featuring music, dancing, local officials and community members.

“We’re now in a very challenging time but despite it all, the thing that has kept it together has been our community spirit,” said Rabbi Moshe Sasonkin of Anshe Sfard Revere Road Synagogue in Bath Township. “For this, I want to thank all of you for joining us tonight because you all help keep the community spirit tonight.”

The Dec. 17 event marked the 30th annual celebration at the mall. Local officials including Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan and Fairlawn Mayor Bill Roth gave Chanukah greetings.

Sasonkin was joined by Gary Himmel, who has served as emcee in years past.

“This event was always the highlight of the year for the Jewish community and at the center of it was always your father, Rabbi Mendy Sasonkin,” Himmel said. “He always brought so much joy to all of us, which none of us will ever forget.” Mendy Sasonkin passed away in 2018.

Moshe Sasonkin followed by thanking his mother, Kaila Sasonkin, who he said was the “master behind” the Chanukah celebration at the mall.

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