David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.
In 2015, local hip-hop artist Prodezra Beats performed at the pregame menorah lighting during Jewish Heritage Night at Phillips Arena.
The Atlanta Hawks might not make the playoffs this season, but the team will play at least one game on a seventh night when they host the Miami Heat for the fifth annual Jewish Heritage Night on Monday, Dec. 18, at Philips Arena.
The event, a partnership between the Hawks and Chabad of Georgia, will include a pregame menorah lighting at midcourt and kosher catering by the Kosher Gourmet. The first 200 fans who purchase tickets to the game at hawks.com/jewishheritage will receive a free Jewish Heritage Night Hawks T-shirt.
The Hawks have only two home games during Chanukah, which runs from Dec. 12 to 20. Because of the name of the opponent and the number of candles, it’s fitting that the pregame menorah lighting will happen on the seventh night against the Heat and not four nights earlier against the Detroit Pistons.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to bring this event every year to Philips Arena,” said Rabbi Yale New of Chabad of Georgia. “It’s a great opportunity for the Jewish community, and we have a great relationship with the Hawks. Chanukah is not a just a message for Jewish people, but a message to the entire world about religious freedom, and we’re always excited to bring that to the games.”
The Hawks’ principal owner, Tony Ressler, is Jewish, as are co-owners Jesse Itzler and Sara Blakely and CEO Steve Koonin.
“We are extremely excited to light the menorah at center court again this year,” said Emily Hanover, the Hawks Sr. Consultant, Premium Group Membership. “The Sammy K pre-game show and the special Jewish Heritage Night T-shirt will make for a really fun event.”
Tickets for Jewish Heritage Night are priced at $24, $52, $58 and $64.
The menorah lighting will begin promptly at 7 p.m. The game tips off at 7:30.