LADERA RANCH, Calif., Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A Southern California park where a menorah was vandalized last year has an even bigger one for this year's holiday season.
Robert Cohen, who has been organizing the annual Hanukkah festival in Ladera Ranch since 2002, his neighbor, Doug Long, and two other men put up the 150-pound candelabrum.
"Our goal was to make it a little bit taller and shining a little bit brighter," Long, a Mormon, told the Los Angeles Times. "I think we accomplished that."
Last year, the stars and light bulbs on the menorah were shattered and the stem broken. But publicity about the vandalism brought 1,000 people to the park for the Hanukkah observance, five times the number in past years.
"It was a show of solidarity from every faith and culture," Cohen said. "It brought tears of happiness to my eyes."
The eight-day festival begins Friday at sundown.