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Refurbished Westinghouse menorah, Christmas tree sculpture find home in Export

Jeff Himler
| Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, 9:48 a.m.

A holiday roadside display that once greeted Pittsburgh-area travelers is aglow once more in Export, where Jewish families have counted down the eight days of Hanukkah by lighting, one by one, the candles on a giant menorah along Kennedy Avenue.

With guidance from adults, several children Tuesday flipped a switch to light a bulb atop one more of the oversized candles rising above a hilltop community park.

“There's eight days, but there's nine candles,” said Rebekah Anthony, 8, of Export. “The top one doesn't count as a day — it lights all the rest.”

The Jewish Festival of Lights commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem where, according to the Talmud, there was enough consecrated oil to relight the candelabra for just one day, yet it miraculously remained lit for eight days.

The menorah stands alongside a lighted Christmas-tree sculpture, just as it did when the displays were a holiday fixture at a Westinghouse site along the Parkway East in Alle­gheny County.

“I loved them. It was awesome,” Export resident Michele Nagoda recalled. She and her husband, John, purchased the pair of displays from a warehouse where they'd been stored and donated them to the borough, which refurbished them and installed them in the 14-acre park. Councilwoman Melanie Litz said the park also was donated, by late Murrysville resident and benefactor Joseph M. Hall Jr., who often dressed as Santa Claus.

“It's a fitting location,” Litz said. “It's the preservation of a local icon, a tradition we can continue to enjoy as a community.”

The menorah resumed its place alongside the tree during the 2016 holiday season.

This year, the lighting of a candle at sundown each day of Hanukkah, and saying of associated blessings, was organized by Steve Apter of Delmont. He operated a car lot in Export and used to live not far from the menorah's original home in Allegheny County.

“Hopefully, this is the beginning of a long-lasting tradition,” he said.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622 or jhimler@tribweb.com.

Joshua Anthony, 5, of Export prepares to light the last candle of the menorah in Export on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Michael Swensen | Tribune-Review
Joshua Anthony, 5, of Export prepares to light the last candle of the menorah in Export on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Children press the button to light the last candle of the menorah in Export on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Michael Swensen | Tribune-Review
Children press the button to light the last candle of the menorah in Export on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Joshua Anthony (from left), Michael Kelly and Rebekah Anthony, all of Export, dance in front of the Christmas tree display in Export on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Michael Swensen | Tribune-Review
Joshua Anthony (from left), Michael Kelly and Rebekah Anthony, all of Export, dance in front of the Christmas tree display in Export on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Rebekah Anthony, 8, of Export stands in front of the lit menorah in Export on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Michael Swensen | Tribune-Review
Rebekah Anthony, 8, of Export stands in front of the lit menorah in Export on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Export's Christmas tree display is lit up on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Michael Swensen | Tribune-Review
Export's Christmas tree display is lit up on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
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