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Jewish community celebrates first night of Chanukah

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MISSOULA, Mont. - A local Jewish community came together Sunday afternoon in Missoula to light a Menorah inside the Southgate Mall. "Tradition is very important. I have three very young children so passing that on to them, getting them to experience something that is a little more fun, doing some crafts, getting them involved as much as possible," said Ilana McCloud. McCloud grew up in a Jewish home with a devout mother who serves as president at Missoula's Har Shalom. Her childhood is full of good memories. "Making latkes. My mom makes amazing sufganiyah which is doughnuts, which is traditional jelly filled doughnuts," said McCloud. Rabbi Berry Nash says he teaches out of his home. He's been living in Missoula now for a year and a half. "It's great to be a part of the community in Missoula where we get to focus on every individual," said Nash. Though Missoula has a small Jewish community, he says his focus isn't on growing membership. It's about having a positive impact. "It's every person that I encounter and that my family encounters, does another positive deed," said Nash. Nash says the Menorah is a symbol for the triumph of freedom over oppression, light over darkness. "Be inspired by the light. If you put on a candle in a dark room, it does a lot and if we put a candle on in our life, it does a lot," said Nash. The Menorah will be at the Southgate Mall for the rest of Chanukah, with a light bulb lit each night.

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