Photo by Jeff Fitlow

Rice marked the first night of Hanukkah with latkes, jelly-filled sufganiyot and a blowtorch, which President David Leebron used to light the first candle of a 9-foot menorah — a new event on campus. “Tonight we make history as we mark the first menorah lighting at Rice University,” said Rabbi Shmuli Slonim, who along with his wife, Nechama, runs the Rice chapter of Chabad, a Jewish community in the Orthodox tradition. While Leebron climbed a ladder to light the menorah, the MOB played traditional songs for the large crowd gathered in the Graduate Commons outside Valhalla. The menorah was moved to the Central Quad the following day, where the remaining nights of Hanukkah were marked with bright new lights each evening.

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