20-foot menorah placed on top of Tempe ‘A’ Mountain for Hanukkah
PHOENIX — Members of a Tempe synagogue have placed a 20-foot tall menorah on top of “A” Mountain to recognize and celebrate the Hanukkah holiday.
Stu Siefer, Vic Linoff and Elliot Ellentuck, who are part of the Tempe-based Temple Emanuel, have schlepped the menorah up the mountain every December for the past decade, Jewish News reported.
The group will meet behind the flour mill on Dec. 10 to install the menorah on the mountain and members will pray and light it on Dec. 12, the first night of Hanukkah.
A volunteer will light the menorah each night during the week-long holiday. It will be taken down on Jan. 7.
The menorah is the largest in Arizona, according to Siefer.
But its home was not always on the Tempe mountain: Siefer said it was originally located on the Hayden Flour Mill.
“Our very first menorah we pulled up to the top of the flour mill, which is 140 feet high,” he told the publication.
“We had to take this one-person tiny elevator up to service it once it was up there. Then the elevator broke and we had to climb a ladder while getting dive-bombed by pigeons.”
But the group was forced to find a new home for the menorah when the mill was considering redeveloping the site.
It was at this point when they approached former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano with the idea of relocating the menorah to “A Mountain,” an idea which was “fully embraced,” Siefer said.
Since then, the group has reconstructed the menorah twice and have enlisted Arizona State University Hillel and several high school Jewish groups to help place it each year.
Now the responsibility lies fully with members of the temple’s Men of Emanuel and the latest version of the menorah is made of aluminum.