A Pentagon Chanukah


The Aleph Institute and American Friends of Lubavitch held a special Chanukah event in the Pentagon “Hall of Heroes” on Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Thomas J. Trask, USAF, Vice Commander of the Special Operations Command, hosted the event, along with Rear Admiral Herman Shelansky, USN, Chaplain Colonel Jake Goldstein, USA, Chaplain Captain Irving Elson, USN, Deputy Chief Chaplain of the US Marine Corps and other senior military officials .

Aleph has shipped out thousands of Menorahs and candles this Chanukah so that military personnel could celebrate wherever they may find themselves. Rabbi Aaron Lipskar, Executive Director
of The Aleph Institute attended the event and spoke about the need to bring as much light as possible during these trying times.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Executive Vice president of American Friends of Lubavitch, said, “As we enjoy our religious freedom as Americans, we are deeply honored to have the opportunity to mark this celebration  of Chanukah – and its important message of light, warmth and spiritual strength – in the Hall of Heroes, the most hallowed space in the Pentagon, where we remember those awarded the Medal of Honor.

“We salute our partners in today’s celebration,  The [members of the] Aleph Institute, who work diligently every day to ensure the needs of Jewish military personnel all over the world are provided for. “


Rear Admiral Shelansky recalled receiving Aleph materials and remembered lighting the Menorah while out at sea in hurricane weather on an aircraft carrier. A menorah was then lit with the help of several participants, after Lt. Gen. Trask lit the shamash candle. A heartwarming scene for all Jewish men and women in the military to share in these special days of Chanukah.

There were also on hand representatives of the Jewish War Veterans, JINSA – Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and various Pentagon offices.

For more information on The Aleph Institute, visit www.aleph-institute.org