If you were somewhere in the United States this Chanukah, more likely than not the governor of the state you were in hosted a menorah-lighting.

In the 46 years since the first public menorah was lit in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the idea has spread across the country and around the world. With its message of religious liberty and freedom from fear and persecution, the menorah was an organic fit for the offices of government in the United States.

In a 1982 letter, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, pointed out that menorahs had been kindled by the president in the nation’s capital facing the White House, as well as by public officials in Manhattan, Albany, Philadelphia, Chicago and many other cities of the Union.

“There is no need for any stronger evidence that the Chanukah menorah, with its universal message, which is especially akin to the spirit of liberty and independence of this nation,” the Rebbe wrote, “has won a place not only in Jewish life, but also in the life of the American people.”

And 25 years after the Rebbe’s passing, the worldwide Chanukah campaign he founded has continued to grow and find fertile ground for its optimistic message. One indicator of just how pervasive public menorahs have become is the fact that this year, more than half of all U.S. states saw a sizable one lit at the state capitol or governor’s mansion.

What follows is a summary of many of these events.

Arizona

A menorah stood at Wesley Bolin Plaza, across the street from the State Capitol in Phoenix, placed by Chabad of Arizona. (Credit: Chabad of Arizona)
A menorah stood at Wesley Bolin Plaza, across the street from the State Capitol in Phoenix, placed by Chabad of Arizona. (Credit: Chabad of Arizona)

Arkansas

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (left) attended a Chabad-Lubavitch menorah-lighting at Centennial Bank in West Little Rock. (Credit: Lubavitch Arkansas)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (left) attended a Chabad-Lubavitch menorah-lighting at Centennial Bank in West Little Rock. (Credit: Lubavitch Arkansas)

Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis held a Chanukah reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee. (Credit: Chabad Tallahassee)
Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis held a Chanukah reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee. (Credit: Chabad Tallahassee)

Idaho

A giant menorah was lit in the Capitol rotunda in Boise by Chabad-Lubavitch of Idaho. Present were Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, as well as other dignitaries.

Illinois

J. B. Pritzker joined Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis to unveil Illinois’ official state menorah on Dec. 17 at the James R. Thompson Center, which houses the Illinois State government offices.
J. B. Pritzker joined Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis to unveil Illinois’ official state menorah on Dec. 17 at the James R. Thompson Center, which houses the Illinois State government offices.

Indiana

A menorah was placed at the Indiana State Capitol in Indianapolis by Lubavitch of Indiana.

Kansas

Gov. Laura Kelly (center) joined Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel (left) for a menorah-lighting at the State Capitol in Topeka. (Credit: Jillian Fitzmorris)
Gov. Laura Kelly (center) joined Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel (left) for a menorah-lighting at the State Capitol in Topeka. (Credit: Jillian Fitzmorris)

Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear attended Chabad of Kentucky’s Fourth Street Chanukah party.

Louisiana

A giant menorah was lit by Chabad of Baton Rouge in front of the Louisiana State Capitol. (Credit: Chabad of Baton Rouge)
A giant menorah was lit by Chabad of Baton Rouge in front of the Louisiana State Capitol. (Credit: Chabad of Baton Rouge)

Maine

Gov. Janet Mills (third from left) joined Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries for the lighting of a giant menorah outside her office at the State House in Augusta, Maine.
Gov. Janet Mills (third from left) joined Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries for the lighting of a giant menorah outside her office at the State House in Augusta, Maine.

Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz (third from left), First Lady Gwen Walz (third from right) and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan (second from right) joined Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries at the menorah-lighting in front of the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn.
Gov. Tim Walz (third from left), First Lady Gwen Walz (third from right) and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan (second from right) joined Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries at the menorah-lighting in front of the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn.

Missouri

Montana

A menorah was lit at the Montana State Capitol in Helena by Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries to the state. Present was, second to left, Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney. (Credit: Dovid Lokshin)
A menorah was lit at the Montana State Capitol in Helena by Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries to the state. Present was, second to left, Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney. (Credit: Dovid Lokshin)

Nebraska

While scheduling conflicts precluded a capitol menorah-lighting this year, Gov. Pete Ricketts has joined previous Chabad menorah lightings at the State Capitol in Lincoln, including last year (pictured). Gov. Ricketts is scheduled to deliver a post-Chanukah message in January.
While scheduling conflicts precluded a capitol menorah-lighting this year, Gov. Pete Ricketts has joined previous Chabad menorah lightings at the State Capitol in Lincoln, including last year (pictured). Gov. Ricketts is scheduled to deliver a post-Chanukah message in January.

Nevada

Gov. Steve Sisolak and Nevada First Lady Kathy Sisolak joined first responders to visit Chabad of Southern Nevada’s Desert Torah Academy in Las Vegas, where they joined in the menorah-lighting and Chanukah festivities. (Credit: Chabad of Southern Nevada)
Gov. Steve Sisolak and Nevada First Lady Kathy Sisolak joined first responders to visit Chabad of Southern Nevada’s Desert Torah Academy in Las Vegas, where they joined in the menorah-lighting and Chanukah festivities. (Credit: Chabad of Southern Nevada)

New Hampshire

Chabad Center for Jewish Living lit a giant menorah at the State House Plaza in Concord. (Credit: Chabad Center for Jewish Living )
Chabad Center for Jewish Living lit a giant menorah at the State House Plaza in Concord. (Credit: Chabad Center for Jewish Living )

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy joined more than 60 Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries to the state of New Jersey for a pre-Chanukah event at the New Jersey State House.

New York

Chabad of the Capital District had a strong presence at the New York State Capitol in Albany over Chanukah, including this public menorah and stand at the Empire State Plaza offering menorahs to government officials and tourists who frequent the area.
Chabad of the Capital District had a strong presence at the New York State Capitol in Albany over Chanukah, including this public menorah and stand at the Empire State Plaza offering menorahs to government officials and tourists who frequent the area.

North Carolina

Last year, Rabbi Lev Cotlar of Chabad of Raleigh and other representatives of Chabad in North Carolina met with Gov. Roy Cooper and presented him with a menorah.

North Dakota

Rabbi Yonah and Esti Grossman, who co-direct Chabad of North Dakota, placed a menorah in Memorial Hall in the State Capitol in Bismarck. It was lit in a public ceremony attended by many of North Dakota’s Jewish families.
Rabbi Yonah and Esti Grossman, who co-direct Chabad of North Dakota, placed a menorah in Memorial Hall in the State Capitol in Bismarck. It was lit in a public ceremony attended by many of North Dakota’s Jewish families.

Ohio

Mike DeWine and First Lady Frances DeWine hosted Chabad rabbis from around the state of Ohio for a Chanukah celebration and menorah lighting ceremony in the Governor’s Mansion. In his remarks, DeWine remembered his father, Richard Lee DeWine, who helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp as a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War II. (Credit: Moshe Sasonkin)
Mike DeWine and First Lady Frances DeWine hosted Chabad rabbis from around the state of Ohio for a Chanukah celebration and menorah lighting ceremony in the Governor’s Mansion. In his remarks, DeWine remembered his father, Richard Lee DeWine, who helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp as a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War II. (Credit: Moshe Sasonkin)

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Sen. John DiSanto, state Rep. Mike Schlossberg and Rep. Patty Kim joined Rabbi Shmuel Pewzner of Chabad of Harrisburg in the East Wing Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, where a large crowd gathered for hot latkes and Chanukah songs. (Credit: Dan Gleiter)
Pennsylvania Sen. John DiSanto, state Rep. Mike Schlossberg and Rep. Patty Kim joined Rabbi Shmuel Pewzner of Chabad of Harrisburg in the East Wing Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, where a large crowd gathered for hot latkes and Chanukah songs. (Credit: Dan Gleiter)

South Dakota

Rabbi Mendel and Mussie Alperowitz joined South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, First Gentleman Byron Noem and their family to light the menorah at the South Dakota Governor’s Mansion.

Tennessee

Chabad of Nashville has placed the 17-foot State Capitol menorah at the State Capitol every year since 2003. It was lit each weekday of Chanukah.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott joined the kindling of the menorah at the Texas State Capitol, hosted by Chabad of Austin.

Utah

Gov. Gary Herbert joined Chabad Lubavitch of Utah for a menorah-lighting in the State Capitol in Salt Lake City.
Gov. Gary Herbert joined Chabad Lubavitch of Utah for a menorah-lighting in the State Capitol in Salt Lake City.

Vermont

A giant menorah was lit at the Vermont State House in Montpelier.

Wisconsin

Chabad of Madison placed a menorah at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.

Wyoming

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon at a pre-Chanukah celebration in the State Capitol. (Credit: Scott Hughes)
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon at a pre-Chanukah celebration in the State Capitol. (Credit: Scott Hughes)