Visitors to Stew Leonard's on Wednesday evening were welcomed by an unusual greeter: Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht, handing out chocolate gelt and dreidels , and spreading cheer as a prelude to the 18th annual Stew Leonard's Menorah Lighting Celebration, held on the first night of Hanukkah.
Hecht, rabbi of Beth Israel of Westport/Norwalk , was joined by Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal, Mayor Richard Moccia, Town Clerk Andrew S. Garfunkel, Superintendent of Schools Susan Marks, Police Chief Harry Rilling and other local politicians to light the menorah after some lively dancing to "The Dreidel Song."
"We're crossing the lines, we're all under the big tent," Hecht said as he stood near a display of poinsettias for sale for Christmas.
Blumenthal was given a blessing and a menorah.
"I had no idea that this wonderful gift was coming," Blumenthal said. "I think tonight says something very profound and special about not only about our faith but about our country, that we celebrate here in this very ecumenical setting a holiday that really commemorates rededication, and consecration, and hope, and vision for the future. Let us all pray today that this holiday will mark a new beginning, a new rededication."
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