Chabad of S. Barbara will unveil the world’s first and only “Smart Menorah” at its 34th annual Chanukah in the Mall celebration on Tuesday, December 3, in Macy’s court at La Cumbre Plaza (121 South Hope Avenue) from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Community leaders and dignitaries will light the Menorah in front of an expected audience of 500 people.

Although Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, has been celebrated since around 165 B.C., this 2013 version is decidedly 21st century. The new Smart Menorah, designed and built by local students and entrepreneurs, will consist of 8 clear-plastic branches, each containing 8 bright multi-colored LEDs blinking in a series of patterns. Viewers will be able to control the Smart Menorah’s lights and colors with their smart phones. Anyone in the audience with an iPhone 4s or higher, iPod 5, or iPad 3 will be able to log into each branch to change the pattern in which the lights are blinking and change the delay between each blink. A few devices will be available to give everyone an opportunity to interact.

“Chanukah is about spreading light,” explains Rabbi Zalmy, Chabad’s Youth Director. “A little light can push away a lot of darkness. This menorah reminds us that in our times the power is literally in our hands. Just like the phone can light up the menorah, we can use our advanced networking to make the world a brighter more G-dly place.”

Free Kosher donuts and traditional latkes will be served and a Paint Jam activity by Jana Brody is planned for younger children.

For more information about this unique event or the history of Chanukah, please visit


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