Rabbi Rona Shapiro, the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge, joined West Haven officials to lead the blessings to mark the start of Hanukkah at a menorah lighting just after sundown Sunday, Dec. 2, on the Green.

The ceremonial lighting marks the Jewish Festival of Lights, an eight-day commemoration of the rededication of the Second Temple in old Jerusalem by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians in 164 BCE.

Jews light one candle (plus the shamas, or helper, candle) on the first night and one additional candle each successive night, culminating with eight candles plus the shamas on the final night of the holiday.