The European Village in Palm Coast was transformed into a Hanukkah Village on Monday, Dec. 19.
Chabad of Palm Coast held its seventh annual Hanukkah celebration on the second night of the Jewish festival of lights.
The celebration included train rides, a petting zoo, balloon animals, face painting, latkes and jelly doughnuts, entertainment by Alvaro Gordillo of World Stage Dancers, a contest to guess the number of Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins) in a jar and the lighting of the grand menorah.
Chabad of Palm Coast Rabbi Levi Ezagui and Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin spoke about the meaning of Hanukkah. Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly passed on the story of Hanukkah.
Alfin said the event is one of his favorite functions as mayor.
"It's my honor each year to be a part of the sacred holiday that brings us together in peace and strength."
— MAYOR DAVID ALFIN
"It's my honor each year to be a part of the sacred holiday that brings us together in peace and strength," Alfin said. "It reminds us to shine a light on all that's good and righteous. I urge you to remember your own unique light that illuminates the world around you."
Rabbi Ezagui, whose wife, Tzivie, organizes the event each year, told the festival goers that every good deed counts. "You have the ability to do a mitzvah (good deed) to light up the world," he said.
The rabbi said this year's event was the biggest yet with an estimated 350 people attending. He said Chabad of Palm Coast, which the Ezaguis started in their living room in 2016, is outgrowing its space at City Market Place and they are looking for a new home.
"Our growth is unbelievable," he said. "Judaism is thriving in Palm Coast."