Local Jewish Congregation to Build Giant Menorah Out of Bagels on Bethesda Row

Menorah will be unveiled during Thursday night Hanukkah celebration


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A 10-foot-tall menorah made of bagels will be unveiled on Bethesda Row on Thursday evening.

Via Chabad of Bethesda

Rabbi Sender Geisinsky of the Chabad of Bethesda said he has landed upon a way to bring together two Jewish icons: The bagel and the menorah.

He’s calling it the “bagel-norah.”

The 10-foot-tall menorah – created from poppy seed bagels, everything bagels, cinnamon raisin bagels, pumpernickel bagels and the like – will tower over pedestrians on Bethesda Row on Thursday. Geisinsky on Wednesday said volunteers are already beginning to construct the menorah, but the public can watch them put the last few bagels in place Thursday evening during the “Hanukkah Family Spectacular.”

“Then everybody will get to see the masterpiece,” he said.

The Hanukkah festivities will kick off at 5:30 p.m. at 4950 Elm Street and include music and appearances by Reggie Rice and local elected officials and dignitaries. Onlookers who get hungry staring at the menorah can munch on “bagels with a schmear” or Hanukah treats like jelly donuts and chocolate gelt, or coins, a press release stated.

Geisinsky said his congregation has been setting up a giant menorah on Bethesda Row every Hanukah since 2009, and the annual event has drawn crowds of 300 to 400 people. The first year, they sculpted the menorah from ice. They’ve also fashioned menorahs out of jellybeans, toys or Legos.

For this year’s task, the Chabad ordered 400 bagels from Goldberg’s New York Bagels. Volunteers will spend hours stacking the bagels onto a metal frame that will provide support, Geisinsky added.

“We’re going to use the natural ‘hole-iness’ of the bagel to facilitate,” he joked.

After the event, the menorah will be taken down, Geisinsky added. It’s against Jewish law to waste, so Geisinsky said the menorah builders will wear gloves and cover the frame in plastic wrap to make sure the bagels stay edible.

Most will be donated. The rest will stay with the Chabad.

“We’re all going to be eating a lot of bagels” in coming days, he said.

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