Chanu-car! Hundreds celebrate Festival of Lights from behind the wheel
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Chanu-car! Hundreds celebrate Festival of Lights from behind the wheel

Families packed into the car park of Borehamwood Shopping Park to watch the menorah lighting

  • Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
    Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
  • Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
    Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
  • Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
    Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
  • Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
    Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
  • Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
    Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
  • Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
    Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
  • Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
    Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)

The festival of Chanukah was enjoyed from the comfort and safety of car seats this year as Jewish families hopped in, belted up and enjoyed the entertainment.

Hundreds piled into the car park of Borehamwood Shopping Park in Hertfordshire as a local team thought outside the box and came up with Chanu-kar.

Rabbi Chaim Hoch of the Jewish Life Centre in Borehamwood said he feared the festival may pass without celebration so together with volunteers and wife Leah they created a Covid-secure drive-in menorah lighting.

Two giant screens were set up in the car park and more than 200 cars glided in from 5pm, parking side-by-side, flashing their headlights and beeping their horns as DJs played and performance artists on stilts bestrode the vehicles.

Meanwhile an enterprising Chabad team covering north-east London and Essex have set up a Covid-secure Chanukah Concert at a drive-in movie theatre designed more with American nostalgia in mind.

Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)

This year’s Grand Chanukah Drive-In is being held at 6.30pm on Thursday 17 December at The Drive In Troubadour in Chingford and will be the culmination of seven different Menorah lightings beginning a week earlier on 10 December.

“It has been a hard year for all of us during Covid with its lockdowns and restrictions, especially for those of us trying to participate in a religious festival, but we’ve come up with an innovative way that allows the community to celebrate Chanukah and still adhere to the Covid regulations,” said organisers.

Around 1,000 people are expected to attend the Concert Drive In, with car passengers entertained by live bands, magicians, jugglers, goodie bags, doughnuts, and food to order delivered direct to cars.

“We’re so very pleased to be able to have this Chanukah celebration, especially during this period of uncertainty,” said Chabad’s Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin. “It is an opportunity for the community to get together safely and celebrate a very important festival in the Jewish calendar, on the last night of Chanukah”.

Chanu-car drive in! (Credit: James Shaw Photography)
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