Preparing the menorah are (left to right): Ariel Fromowitz of Woodmere, Zaza Atanelov of Los Angeles, Israel Ackerman of Miami, Jerry Frenkel of Monsey, Deena Miller of Woodmere, Beth Weinstein of Woodmere, Shimon Farber of Lawrence, Daniel Elefant of Cedarhurst, New York Medical College Chancellor, Dr. Edward Halperin of Greenwich
This year on the first night of Chanukah, as Jews around the world celebrate the miracle of oil and the victory of the ancient Maccabees over religious oppression, medical students at New York Medical College (NYMC) prepare to light the menorah in their newly-inaugurated synagogue and feast on latkes in the kosher cafeteria. It is on Chanuka when Jews reaffirm their commitment to Jewish observance, rejoicing in their ability to freely observe their faith, engage in Torah study and keep the Sabbath.
NYMC has a long history of religious tolerance, accepting Jewish students when other schools had quotas. Since NYMC joined the Touro College and University System in 2011, that foundation has been enhanced and students have been enjoying an atmosphere that is remarkably accommodating to their religious observance. Torah lectures, kosher food, the establishment of a daily minyan and a soon-to-be erected eruv as well as school closings on all Jewish holidays and the launch of a six-track Shomer Shabbos residency program are all cause for celebration this Chanukah.