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Norcross to light 10-foot menorah in Thrasher Park

NORCROSS -- For the second year in a row, the city of Norcross celebrates Chanukah, the festival of lights. A 10-foot grand menorah has been erected in Thrasher Park, which will be lit Tuesday night by Rabbi Yossi Lerman, Director Chabad of Gwinnett and other community leaders.

"Bringing Chanukah to Norcross is a big deal for us. It's not just a holiday and it's not just Norcross -- it's connecting the dots all over the world," Lerman said. "We're very excited about another Chanukah -- another Chanukah brings new opportunities and hope."

Last year, the menorah lighting was held at a pub on a much smaller scale. The Chabad of Gwinnett wanted the event to be more family-oriented, so they moved to the park.

The organization has free latkes, doughnuts and hot chocolate for the attendees, plus gifts for all of the children.

"I love giving things away," Lerman said with a laugh. "We are getting (the latkes) donated from Trader Joe's. They have been helping us with latkes for the past two years. Donuts that we have will come in raw; we will deep fry and sugar them."

To Lerman, Chanukah is not only a holiday, it's about bringing people together for peace and harmony.

"One of the greatest things we still have is the sense of friendship, love and coming together," he said. "To stand outside of our homes on the streets, opening up ourselves to the whole outside world ... bring a little bit of that home feeling to the hostile environment outside -- we don't know it's safe anymore -- bring this sense of friendship, and then light a candle, which brightens the darkness ... is a sense of awareness. We are very excited for the opportunity to come together with as many people as possible to show our unity and that we can make our world a better place."

For more information about the Chabad of Gwinnett, visit www.chabadofgwinnett.org.