Chanukah Festival & Gelt Drop | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Chanukah Festival & Gelt Drop

The Lubavitch of Wisconsin annual Chanukah Festival & Gelt Drop was held Dec. 7 at Bayshore Mall in Glendale, bringing light to the world at a challenging time for the Jewish people. The event was promoted as an effort to “unite through light.” 


Odeliya, 14, and Shaina, 16, and served sufganiyot (donuts) to people at the festival. They attend Bader Hillel High. All photos by Rob Golub.  

Devan Benjamin, with one of her two daughters, Libby Weinberg, 15 months old, at the Chanukah festival. “We are a proud Jewish family,” Benjamin said.  

Festivalgoers watched the lighting of a giant menorah. “The festival of Chanukah is meant to be celebrated in the open … in a way that expresses thanks to the almighty for his miracles,” said Rabbi Mendel Shmotkin, CEO of Lubavitch of Wisconsin, from a podium. Organizers thanked attending officials, police and Milwaukee Jewish Federation for security and support.  

Firefighters climbed to the top of a Milwaukee Fire Department truck ladder to throw chocolate gelt to attendees. 

The crowd at the festival reached up to catch chocolate gelt or snag gelt-laden parachutes thrown from the top of a fire truck ladder. 

Rabbi Moshe Rapoport, a dreidel and a soldier danced on stage together during the festival.  

Drones created various images in the sky, including this menorah.