Green Menorah Contest Lights Up Chicago

Four students win cash prize for creating menorahs made entirely from recycled materials.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

The Chicago-based Hillel Arts in the Loop held its second annual Green Menorah Contest this week, encouraging students across the Windy City to take an environmental approach to the holiday of lights.

Students were asked to create a menorah made entirely from recycled materials and winners were to be awarded $100-$500 for their efforts.

"The demand to have this program for a second year shows that we are making an impact and that the importance of this topic resonates with all people on all levels," said Michelle Maer, Executive Director of Hillels Around Chicago.

First place this year went to Jan Tichy, an Israeli completing an MFA in sculpture at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, for his proposal to create a green menorah from recycled bike sprockets. According to his creation, each sprocket would hold one of the eight traditional candles arranged around a central revolving tower of sprockets.

Colombia photography student Mike Null took second place, with his proposal to make a menorah out of two former melody makers.

A tied third place went to Ricky Lourie, a student of theater design, and Jacob Eckert, a student of product design at Columbia College.

Lourie's entry, "The Jewish Tree of Life Comes From Ireland," used clay left over from the walls of a set he recently designed and the twine ripped off of the props, combined with different fabrics.

For his piece, Eckhert designed a menorah formed entirely out of aluminum cans, with no accompanying materials or glue.

"This Green Menorah Contest couldn't be more relevant these days," said Galit Greenfield, Program Director for Hillels Around Chicago. "We hear about the economic situation and about how we need to learn to conserve and save. Hanukkah presents this idea with the miracle of oil that was suppose to last for a day but lasted for eight."

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