Brooklyn community comes together to celebrate first night of Hanukkah at Grand Army Plaza

Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza was alive with holiday cheer Sunday as the community gathered to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
The annual kickoff concert, held in the park each year, is a highlight of the holiday season.
More than 1,000 people attended this year's celebration.
The 32-foot menorah was lit to kick off the festivities, and attendees were treated to a performance by Zusha and remarks from Mayor Eric Adams, Attorney General Letitia James and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
"The best thing we can do now is make sure that those lights shine brighter than ever, make sure this crowd is bigger than ever, so we can continue to celebrate," Williams said.
In addition to the music and speeches, the celebration also included hot latkes, a traditional Hanukkah treat.
The first night of Hanukkah comes at a time when antisemitic hate is rising in the city. That's why organizers with Chabad of Park Slope wanted Sunday's celebration to be about coming together as a community.
"Because it's actually from these grounds right here where just a short time ago, there was a tremendous amount of hate and advocacy against the Jewish people," said Rabbi Moshe Hecht.
The holiday will run through Dec. 25 with a candle lit at the Grand Army Plaza each night.
Hanukkah ends at nightfall on Dec. 26.