Members of Iowa’s Jewish community will begin the eight-day observance of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, at sunset tonight.

A 20-foot-tall menorah will be lit in Des Moines to commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Yossi Jacobson says Governor Terry Branstad will help to light to first of eight candles.

“He has traveled the state far and wide and now he’ll be traveling in the heights,” Rabbi Jacobson says. “He’ll be going up with me 20 feet in the air and bringing the light of Hanukkah throughout Iowa.”

Jacobson says there will be traditional music played at the service, which begins the celebration of Hanukkah which runs through December 28th.

“We hope to have many people there to take part and hopefully, afterwards, they will go to their own homes and light the menorahs there,” he says. “There are obligations for every individual not to be a spectator to watch others bring the light in. Everyone is obligated to bring their own light into their own life, their own homes.”

Latest U.S. Census Bureau figures shows there are about 6,200 Jews living in Iowa.

Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City