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Hanukkah Lights of Friendship and Faith

Fighting anti-Semitism, one block at a time.

A lit menorah

Back in 1996 the Markovitzes were the only Jewish family on a street in Newton, Pennsylvania. Come December their house was lit with a Hanukkah menorah in the window. Until vandals smashed it.

Mrs. Markovitz was no stranger to anti-Semitism. Her family moved to the States long ago to escape religious persecution in the Soviet Union.

The next morning, Lisa Keeling, a neighbor, heard about the incident. "I'm going to put a menorah in our front window, so that the Markovitzes will know they've got friends on our block," she informed her husband.

Lisa told her neighbor Margie Alexander her plan. Margie joined in. The two went shopping and bought menorahs for every house on the block. Just before sunset, every family lit candles on their new menorahs.

That evening when Mrs. Markovitz pulled into their street, she saw Hanukkah lights glowing all around her.

The neighbors have put up menorahs every December since. "For me, it's become the best part of the holidays," Margie says. "It's amazing to see people of different faiths support one other."

And a good thing to celebrate.

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