SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and local leaders of the Jewish community today joined Chabad of Sacramento to celebrate Chanukah at the 16th Annual Capitol Menorah Lighting Ceremony. “As we light this menorah today I encourage all Californians to reflect on its message of light, hope and freedom and to share that message with others,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Especially in these difficult times it is important that this season be one of thankfulness for what we do have and marked by generosity for those who are less fortunate.”

This year, guests at the Capitol Menorah Lighting Ceremony participated in a “reverse toy drive” sponsored by Disney. The Governor joined West Coast Chabad Director Rabbi Shlomo Cunin in passing the gifts out for the toy drive during today’s ceremony. Chabad has asked that guests of the ceremony to present these gifts to children in need.

The menorah used in the lighting ceremony was provided by Chabad of Sacramento, a community-based nonprofit organization whose efforts are rooted in traditional Jewish values. Chabad runs the largest network of educational and nonsectarian social services under Jewish auspices on the West Coast with more than 200 local community centers, more than 25 elementary and day schools and more than 30 summer camps.