top of page
Concrete Wall

Motty Ilowitz - Chanukah in Billings, Montana | מאטי אילאוויטש - חנוכה אין בילינגס, מאנטענע

A message of unity and the power of an/the eternal flame! -- In 1993, Billings, Montana faced a year of racism against Jews. On Dec. 2 of that year, a bigot threw a rock and smashed the bedroom window of a Jewish boy, Isaac Schnitzer, who was displaying a Chanukah menorah. The local newspaper published and distributed a full-page color picture of a menorah and urged residents to place it in their windows as a sign of unity. Townspeople of all races and religions found common ground against attacks to their neighbors and came together, in solidarity, to combat hate and racism. Though the Billings Jewish population was about 150, it was estimated that 10,000 menorah’s decorated Billings’ homes and other buildings. The people of Billings have created a model for how a community responds to hate. -- Sadly, anti-Semitism is now rising, especially in the US. Hopefully, This model and ideology can be replicated over across the US and around the world, as the only way to stop the cycle of ignorance and hate is through unity and love. -- Mainly, it points out the idea of supporting, understanding, and embracing each other. Even-though we all light the Menorah separately, and even-though we all have our own way of life - even within the Jewish communities. As we all open our windows to light the Menorah, we also open our hearts, our common connection and unity. The Menorah symbolizes and strengthens our identicalness, our oneness, our eternal, indistinguishable flame! -- Written and performed by: Motty Ilowitz Recorded at : Edgware Studios Video by: Insight Studio Hebrew Translation: D. Burstein


bottom of page