For those who remember drive-in theaters during their heyday, the South Hills celebration of the start of Chanukah represented a blast from the past.

And the youngsters enjoyed it, too.

On Thursday at sunset, the parking lot at Dormont Pool started to fill with vehicles full of folks who were able to enjoy the night’s program while staying as safe as possible.

Thanks to an FM transmitter, guests were able to tune in on their radios as Rabbi Chaim Itkin of Yeshiva School and Lubatich Center of Pittsburgh led a round of Chanukah trivia prior to the main event, the lighting of the Menorah. Afterward, everyone watched the big screen that was set up in the lot for a multimedia presentation of the story of the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Serving as emcee was Mussie Rosenblum, event coordinator for Chabad of the South Hills – Jewish Center for Living and Learning in Mt. Lebanon, which organizes the annual celebration locally. Rabbi Mendy Rosenblum, the center’s director, and his wife, Batya, the co-director were unable to attend this year because of a death in the family.

Chanukah, which alternatively is spelled “Hanukkah” and means “dedication,” continues through Dec. 18 at nightfall. The eight-day festival celebrates the the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the second century B.C.

According to, a small band of faithful but poorly armed Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth.

“When they sought to light the Temple’s Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.”

For more information about Chabad of the South Hills, visit

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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