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Chanukah Getting Greener With Hillels Around Chicago

by Hillel News |Dec 30, 2008|Comments
The winning piece, designed by Jan Tichy from the School of the Art Institute. Built using recycled bike sprockets, the menorah can move around in a circular rotation illustrating time as an important element of Chanukah.

The winning piece, designed by Jan Tichy from the School of the Art Institute. Built using recycled bike sprockets, the menorah can move around in a circular rotation illustrating time as an important element of Chanukah.


Chicago --
Young Jewish artists creatively reworked key symbols of Chanukah to promote environmental thinking. Exploring a new, "green" meaning to the holiday, students designed and built menorahs using only recycled materials for the second annual Green Menorah Contest, a project by Hillel Arts in the Loop, a division of Hillels Around Chicago.

Using left over materials from a theatre production, including costume matierals, Ricky Lurie, a student at Columbia College, created this piece that tied for third place.
Using left over materials from a theatre production, including costume matierals, Ricky Lurie, a student at Columbia College, created this piece that tied for third place.

The Green Menorah Contest, also sponsored by the Columbia Recycling Program, USD Hagshama, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation, reframes the Chanukah story and its powerful imagery of miraculously long-lasting oil for a modern look at sustainability and resource management.

Fifteen students entered their menorahs into the contest and showed their innovative designs during a Chanukah party at Columbia College's downtown campus on Dec. 4. Prizes were awarded to four winners, including a first-place $500 award.

Submissions were judged by a panel including Professor Sharon Starkman of Columbia College Chicago, Professor Nadine Bopp of the School of the Art Institute and Professor Odile Compagnon, also of the Art Institute and designer of the Gray Children's Center at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.

From left: Emily Gwax and Jennifer Swan, students at the School of the Art Institute stand next to a submission by Gwax, Swan and Emily Boksenbaum, also an Art Institute student. The menorah is constructed in part from recycled plastic bottles. The piece also functions as a compost container, which will be emptied after Chanukah and used for a garden.
From left: Emily Gwax and Jennifer Swan, students at the School of the Art Institute stand next to a submission by Gwax, Swan and Emily Boksenbaum, also an Art Institute student. The menorah is constructed in part from recycled plastic bottles. The piece also functions as a compost container, which will be emptied after Chanukah and used for a garden.

The menorahs will be on display at Congregation Solel in Highland Park through Chanukah.

Read the story that appeared in Ha'aretz here.


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