Jewish Heritage Night celebrated at Heat game 

The menorah is lit during Jewish Heritage Night at the Miami Heat game. (Submitted photo / December 13, 2012)

By Jordan D. Robrish, Staff Writer Jewish Journal

11:25 a.m. EST, December 27, 2012



The Miami Heat in partnership with Chabad of Florida, presented their fifth annual Jewish Heritage Night in celebration of Hanukkah.

The basketball game featured the Miami Heat vs. the Golden State Warriors. As part of the Hanukkah night festivities, there was a menorah lighting inside the arena on the fifth night of Hanukkah and a half-time concert featuring a DJ on the east plaza of the arena overlooking Biscayne Bay.

Rabbi Chaim Lipskar of the Shul of Downtown commented on the success of the event. "Last night the Jewish Heritage Night with the Miami Heat was a magnificent showing of freedom and the victory of light over darkness. Everyone came out to show their Jewish pride as we lit the menorah in front of 22,000 fans together with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Jimenez."

The National Anthem in honor of Jewish Heritage month was sung by Cantor Yossi Lebovics. Rabbis and their families were in attendance from all over the United States, Florida and countries as far away as Israel and Argentina.

"The Miami Heat is very happy to once again host Jewish Heritage Night at the AmericanAirlines Arena during the Golden State game on Dec. 12," said Nick Arison, chief executive officer of The HEAT Group. "This is the perfect time of year to express our deepest gratitude for the continued support our friends in the Jewish community have provided to the franchise year after year."

Hanukkah night t-shirts were thrown into the stands as the Heat were locked in a close game against the Warriors. The atmosphere of the crowd was joyous as there was Hanukkah themed music played throughout the night by Heat DJ Irie. The fans cheered as the Miami Heat players LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen played their hearts against the Warriors.

Anita Russ of Davie watched the game with her family with tickets purchased through the Chabad of Downtown for Jewish Heritage Night. "It is a wonderful feeling to be able to not only come out and support the Heat, but to also celebrate the lighting of the menorah for Hanukkah with my family," Russ said.