Celebrating the Festival of Lights at Kalama Park

First photo: Rabbi Mendy Krasnjansky looks on as Kihei’s Kobi Gil lights a large menorah at Kalama Park in Kihei while celebrating the fifth night of Hanukkah on Thursday evening after sunset. The annual Jewish holiday known as the Festival of Lights celebrates the “Miracle of the Oil,” as well the perseverance and faith of the Jewish people. “It’s the story of the oppressed overcoming the oppressors,” Krasnjansky said. “It’s about religious freedom.” Along with friends coming together, the event featured traditional foods, music and dancing. “To me, the light means everything good in the world,” said Laura Kaplan, who was handing out latkes.

Second photo: Rabbi Mendy Krasnjansky and Kobi Gil join Avi Nizer and Mendel Robbins in a dance after the menorah lighting is completed.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos