ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For millions of Americans, the holiday season means lights, food and festive tradition. While Christmas may be front and center, those same tenants can be found in Hanukkah as well. Now, thanks to a group known as the ‘Roving Rabbis’, the season is looking a bit brighter for all to celebrate.

The group is made up of 20-year-old Rabbinical students out of Brooklyn New York. While the program has been in operation for some time, this is their first year to venture out nationwide. One of the young people who is on this journey, Rabbi Mendy Hirsch, said they want to spread light to everyone.

“Some of these communities are smaller communities that don’t have much of a Jewish infrastructure to come out and celebrate Hanukkah. We believe that’s the best way of spreading light,” Hirsch expressed.

Hirsch said they have been well received on their cross country journey. Many communities welcomed them in, happy to have some public celebration for this often under-represented holiday.

“In a way without being ashamed of our Jewish identity and without being embarrassed to celebrate Hanukkah, that’s the powerful mission and lesson,” Hirsch said.

Their presentation consists of a look into the history of the holiday. Followed up by the lighting of a giant Menorah. All throughout the event, guests were treated to traditional songs from their Cantor and the whirlwind performance of the dancing dreidels (otherwise known as Rabbis Moshe Rosenfeld and Bentzi Wolowick). They shared the fun of Hanukkah with those that don’t often get to see it in public spaces.

“It’s beautiful to see that. Especially the young generation. I mean, we’re young also, but however young. All the way to the bottom to see that people are growing up in the right direction and being happy and knowing that they’re able to openly practice their religion and openly express themselves and spread the light to everyone around them.” Wolowik expressed.

And while the food fun and tradition are center stage, their mission serves a dual purpose. To bring representation to the smaller Jewish communities and pushing back against rising anti-Jewish rhetoric.

“Especially with all the rise in antisemitism today, to go out into the world and add light and display our Jewish pride in a public place is very important.” Hirsch explained.

Each flame of their giant Menorah stands as a beacon of hope and to remind each person of the light they carry on the inside.

“Just making sure the world’s a happier place, a safer place and a peaceful place. That’s what Hanukkah is all about,” said Wolowik.

After a nights stay in Abilene, the Rabbis next stop is in San Angelo, before their travel home. Their journey can be followed on the churches Instagram.