Skokie School Celebrates Hanukkah, Honors Slain Alum

Lisa Fielding
December 03, 2018 - 5:56 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

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SKOKIE (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A candle is lit on a giant Menorah made with more than 1,500 Menorah kits to be distributed to those who don't yet have their own.

Students and their families of Cehder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School in Skokie took part in the Monday afternoon ceremony.

"As soon as this celebration is over, they'll be basically giving it to people on the streets making sure they light the Hanukah Menorah and bring light upon the world," said Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf, dean of the school.

This project is the idea of the fourth-grade class and their teacher, Rabbi Avraham Varnai. All of the money for this project was raised by the fourth-grade class.

Rabbi Wolf says it’s not only a celebration of Hanukkah, but in honor of slain former student Eliyahu Moscowitz.

Eliyahu Moscowitz (Facebook Memorial Page)

"He was kind, he was gentle. He was a very special human being. In his tribute, the more we spread the light, the light of goodness and kindness, the more we will properly celebrate his life because his life was about light, goodness and kindness,” Wolf said.

Moscowitz's father, Rabbi Mendal Moscowitz, who is a teacher at the school, says his son would've loved the celebration. The rabbi’s wife, Eliyahu’s mother, Chanie, also teaches at the school.

"He probably wouldn't like the attention or the fanfare, but he would love the messages being said today," Mendal Moscowitz said. "He did so many great things in his life. He was proud of who he was. He was proud of his Judaism. People appreciated that about him.

Chanie and Mendal Moscowitz (WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding)

"Our family grew up in this school. All of our children went here. We were luckily to be able to see them every day. Eliyahu walked these very halls. He developed a relationship within. He was a happy kid."

Rabbi Wolf added it’s unfortunate that the Hanukkah celebration also doubles as a tribute for Eliyahu because he "lost his life, unfortunately, in just a tragic way."

Eliyahu Moscowitz was killed in East Rogers Park near his home, a day after another man was killed by who police believe is the same man. No arrests have been made.

A reward has been offered to help find the killer.