What do Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and a Jewish teen from Siberia have in common? Both of their Chanukah pictures have been shared under the hashtag #sharethelights.

The core of the idea is simple: People take pictures of themselves with their menorahs, and then share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #sharethelights, encouraging others to do the same. But it’s sophisticated as well, in that so many Jewish people are reached in a way that’s accessible and appealing.

Levi Margolin, who directs the social-media side of the operation, says the campaign has caught on like wildfire since Chanukah began on Tuesday night.

“It’s impossible to track exactly how far this has reached,” he says, “but from our own social-media channels alone, the campaign has reached more than 750,000 people. The hashtag has been used and shared by thousands on various platforms, creating a blaze of Chanukah light that continues to grow every hour.”

“For all its novelty, the concept is deeply rooted in tradition,” explains Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302, which is orchestrating the campaign. “The Chanukah lights are there to spread awareness of the miracle of the eight-day holiday, and its enduring message of religious freedom. Harnessing social media to get the Chanukah message out there is just the natural extension of the mitzvah.

“While Chabad emissaries have embraced this tool,” adds Kotlarsky, “we are most excited by the sheer volume of Jewish people everywhere who’ve taken the opportunity to share their Chanukah excitement, and to encourage their friends and family to do the same.”

Browsing sharethelights.org, visitors can see the evening march across the globe from east to west in real time as pictures pour in from Australia, then the Far East, followed by Israel and Europe, and finally North America. According to tagboard.com, another post with #sharethelights is currently appearing approximately once every minute.

In addition to social media, the hashtag has been popping up on giant public menorahs, car-top menorahs and even big screens at professional sporting events.

Organizers are planning a number of surprise raffles for anyone who posts a picture with the hashtag. For example, one lucky winner will be awarded an all-expense-paid trip to spend Shabbat with the Chabad emissary couple of his or her choice anywhere in the world.

“But, of course, the most important thing is to encourage more people to celebrate Chanukah,” concludes Margolin. “I firmly believe that G‑d gifted us social media so we can spread Torah. And this campaign is doing just that.”

The public is encouraged to participate by posting their Chanukah pictures with the hashtag #sharethelights for the duration of the Chanukah holiday.