Rory Schoenberger


My object is a menorah. My grandfather got this menorah and my mom used it throughout her childhood to celebrate Hanukkah. Now my family uses the same menorah to celebrate the holiday. When using this menorah, we celebrate the miracle of light. It also connects us to my recently passed grandfather. The menorah has eight candles plus the helper candle referred to as the shamash. On top is a Jewish star which is a significant symbol in Judaism. It is painted gold and is covered in candle wax from so much use. Every single year for eight nights we celebrate Hanukkah by lighting the menorah, saying the blessing and opening presents. Even a few years ago, when Hanukkah fell on Christmas break and we were in California visiting my dad’s mom, we brought our menorah and lit it in the hotel every night. I connect with the menorah because it is a physical reminder of my religion and even more so of my family since it has been used through three generations. All of my ancestors on my mom’s side lit a menorah to celebrate Hanukkah in the past, and doing so now connects me to them. Lighting a menorah connects me back several generations to when my family lived in Austria and Poland. The menorah represents my Jewish heritage which contributes to my Jewish-American identity. 

Place(s): Manhasset Hills

– RS

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more