Artist brings mural to Jersey City to celebrate Hanukkah, honor shooting victims

An interactive art project is honoring the victims of the Dec. 10 shooting at a Jersey City kosher grocery store.
Keren Vered added the third flame to the menorah on the mural, partly to celebrate the third night of Hanukkah. Vered is one of several local artists invited to paint a large flame on the mural – one for each night of the holiday.
"What an impressive piece of work right now to have going,” says Vered. “The fact that I could be a small part of it is an honor."
Other people are invited to add their own positive messages to the wall by using brightly-colored markers – a symbol of light on the dark backdrop. Artist Rabbi Yitzchok Moully painted the menorah and says that the project has received a tremendous response.
"I believe in humanity, I believe in the greater good of all of us have…I mean, United We Stand,” Moully says. "The attorney general came and he wrote a message right over here, ‘Love is greater than hate.’”
Moully established his #LightOverDarkness project in 2018 after a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, creating a mobile menorah mural. Through a partnership with Green Villain and Chabad Young Professionals of Hoboken and Jersey City, he was able to bring the project to Jersey City. The mural, located at the southwestern corner of Buy Rite Liquors in Jersey City, is highly visible to the thousands of drivers using the Holland Tunnel each day.
“It’s the nicest panel on the entire site, so it’s perfect,” says Green Villain founder Gregory Edgell.
Moully says that there is an idea in Judaism that light is greater after the darkness.
"The idea of light from darkness and that's the idea of Hanukkah, that we start off with no flame and then every night we light one more flame, adding more light,” he says.
Moully says that even after all eight lights have been painted on the mural and Hanukkah is over, people are still encouraged to stop by, grab a marker and write their messages of positivity on the wall. He says the idea is to put so many messages of light that the dark background of the mural gets completely covered up.
Three people were shot and killed inside the JC Kosher grocery store on Dec. 10 in what authorities are saying was a targeted attack. Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seal was killed by the gunmen in a confrontation prior to the attack. The gunmen were killed after a standoff with police.