Hanukkah Candle Lighting At The Governor’s Mansion

By Gideon

Unexpectedly, we were honored with an invitation to the annual candle lighting at the governor’s mansion in Florida’s state capital.

Tallahassee is about 400 miles from South Florida so we first drove to Tampa (only 250 miles away) for an overnight stay with my wife’s parents. The next afternoon we drove the rest of the way to Tallahassee (only 4 hours from Tampa). The candle lighting was about hour and a half long. We then drove back to Tampa, arriving around 1:00 am in the morning.  After a short sleep,  we left Tampa around 8:00 am, arriving in Boca Raton around noon. All together, the round-trip took us three days. 

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Was it worth it?


There were only about 100-150 people at the event. It was intimate  enough to feel  part of it.  Since Tallahassee is also  the home of Florida State University, there was a good representation of the community: Students from FSU, state officials, business people, rabbis, and regular citizens from across the state. In addition to Tallahassee’s residents, people came from Orlando, Tampa, and South Florida. We met many very nice people. The governor and the first lady  were warm, friendly, and welcoming.  It was a great event and we are happy that we could be part of it.

Pictures from the event

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With Rabbi Schneur Oirechman of Chabad Lubavitch of the Panhandle-Tallahassee


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                  With  Governor Rick Scott and  First Lady Scott

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                                            The Candle Lighting