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    Posted December 20, 2011 by
    New York, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    A holiday season without religion?

    More from sjunat55

    World's Largest Menorah, Nativity Scene Share Spotlight


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     sjunat55 shot these pictures on December 20 of the Guinness World Record-breaking Hanukkah menorah sharing real estate with a nativity scene in New York City's Grand Army Plaza. 'The menorah was lit up last night, and it sits next to the nativity scene: Two symbols of religion sharing one plaza,' he said.
    - jmsaba, CNN iReport producer

    In what is now a New York City tradition, the first light of the world's largest menorah was lit on the initial night of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

    Riding in a Con Edison cherry picker crane, Senator Charles Shumer lit the first "candle" on Tuesday, December 20th.
    As in other years, the 32 feet, 4000 pound structure shares the spotlight with a nativity scene sponsored by the Catholic League, "for religious and civil rights".
    The menorah and nativity scene are located in Grand Army Plaza near the south east entrance of New York's Central Park on 59th Street and 5th Avenue.

    Designed by artist Yaacov Agam and certified as the world's largest by Guinness World's Records, the menorah was inspired by a drawing  of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of  Jerusalem.  It is sponsored by the Lubavitch Youth Organization. Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman joined Sentor Schumer, presiding over a brief service on a misty night in New York City.

    Photos taken on 12/20/11 in midtown Manhattan.

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