Beren Campus Lights up 34th Street
The Empire State building wasn’t the only thing spreading holiday cheer on 34th Street this year. On Monday, December 26th, the Brookdale Residence Hall of the Beren Campus lit up the night with a window Menorah. Every other year, the Beren Campus Housing office organizes the residents of the building to light up their windows to make a building-sized Menorah – the biggest and brightest in all of Midtown Manhattan.
Utilizing garbage bags to block out the light in some rooms, and red cellophane to create the illusion of fire at the top of the building, Beren Campus students worked together to ensure that at 7:15 PM the candles were burning bright. This endeavour required dorm-wide participation and organizational assistance by the resident advisors.
Goldie Wolfson, the resident advisor of the fourteenth floor -- a junior from Boston -- described the excitement and difficulties involved in “lighting” the Menorah. While the planning, which was set from past years, did not pose a challenge, “making sure all of the students’ windows were prepped was a little harder,” the junior from the Boston area said. “I felt bad bothering students while they were studying or sleeping, but I think overall people like it alot and it always looks awesome.”
While the Menorah may not have been Halachic, there is no doubt that Yeshiva University participated in a great feat of Pirsumei Nisa (publicizing the miracle). The individual Menorahs of the Brookdale residents were visible through the window of the lounge to pedestrians on 34th Street, but the larger-than-life Menorah from that Monday night spread Hanukkah happiness to the greater Midtown community.
The Menorah was set to last from 7:15 PM to 7:45 PM, a short window easily missed by students busy studying or out for the night. “I think it is a great idea, but I wish it lasted longer,” said Adina Cohen, a sophomore from Stamford, Connecticut. “I wasn’t in the dorm during the half hour that it was lit, and I was disappointed to have missed the experience.”
Nevertheless, the window Menorah seemed to have gone over well with Beren Campus students. Beth Hirschfeild, a true freshman from Trenton, New Jersey, offered her reaction: “I was moderately excited about it, and I wasn’t even there!”
Since this unifying Hanukkah expression of creativity only occurs every other year, attempts to change it in the off-years by creating an Israeli flag have been made, but were not successful.
photo credit: YU Flickr