Many Candles, One World is the first virtual Chanukah celebration of the global Reform and Progressive Movement. Striving to connect its 1.2 million members spread across the globe in more than 1,200 communities and congregations, this year’s online Chanukah gala brings together stars from the worlds of theater, television, and music to perform alongside cantors and choirs, kids and families. Together, the event showcases how we all connect to the Jewish holiday – by bringing the light of meaning, tradition, and togetherness. The broadcast will be premiered in partnership with Central Synagogue of New York, on their YouTube Channel, on Sunday December 13th, at 8pm EST.
With Tony and Grammy award winning producers, Yael Silver (Carmine Entertainment) and Mary Ekler, its helm, Many Candles, One World will feature musical performances and special appearances by: Emmy and SAG nominated actress, producer, and author, Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory” “Blossom”); musician and singer, Elana Jagoda; cantor and puppeteer, Evan Kent; world renowned Israeli singer-songwriter of Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) music, Yasmin Levy; Grammy Award winning songwriter, singer, and author, Lisa Loeb (“Stay”); Actors and singers, Henry and Jonah Platt; Broadway actress and singer, Sharone Sayegh (“The Band’s Visit”, “Mama Mia!”), and legendary singer-songwriter, Peter Yarrow (“Peter, Paul, and Mary”). Celebrities will be joined by cantors and rabbis from around the world each sharing songs, blessings, and insights into the meaning of Chanukah.
Additional videos, submitted by Reform and Progressive families and individuals around the world, offer entertaining answers to the question “To me, Chanukah is__” and (with the help of creative editing) produced the longest, global, virtual chain of Chanukah candle lighting ever recorded on video.
Many Candles, One World! was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift in Jewish life from communal to individual that took place across the globe. WUPJ President Rabbi Sergio Bergman and WUPJ Chair Carole Sterling saw the need for a celebratory and engaging event that both brought our members closer together, while celebrating the Chankuah holiday, and raising funds to support educational initiatives for youth and young adults, rabbis and Jewish educators, and emerging congregations around the world.
Additional production for Many Candles, One World was led by: Carole and Jay Sterling, and Sandra and L. Tadd Schwab, Executive Producers; and L. Tadd Schwab and Les Rothschild, Gala Co-Chairs.