Green Villain, a creative platform that uses public art to drive community engagement throughout Jersey City, has partnered with Rabbi and artist Yitzchok Moully, a New Jersey-based artist, and with Rabbi Shmully Levitin of Chabad Young Professionals of Hoboken & Jersey City to produce an interactive public art project located outside the Buy Rite Liquors store at 575 Manilla Ave, Jersey City, NJ.
#LightOverDarkness, a 2018 project established by Yitzchok Moully, invited local community members to write positive messages, mitzvahs (Yiddish for “good deeds”), and prayers onto a mobile mural of a menorah traveling around New York and New Jersey throughout Chanukah last year.
Days after the Dec 10 anti-Semitic attack on the kosher store in the Greenville section of Jersey City, Rabbi Shmully Levitin connected Gregory D. Edgell, founder of Green Villain, and Yitzchok Moully to see how they could bring the project to the streets of Jersey City.
Within days a location was procured, and a menorah mural was painted in memory of Det. Joseph Seals, Leah Mindel Ferencz, Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, and Moshe Deutsch, all of who died in the attack.
Starting Wednesday morning, Dec 18, everyone is invited to come by and write his or her own message, prayer, or name on the Buy Rite mural and be a part of the project. Bright colored markers will be available, and everyone is encouraged to bring more supplies.
On each of the eight nights of Chanukah, which begins Sunday evening, Dec 22, different local artists and community leaders will paint a large flame on another branch of the menorah, thus completing the mural.
Positioned directly between the inbound and outbound lanes of the Holland Tunnel and across from the Port Authority Police Department, the artwork will be visible to the 42,000 vehicles driving by each day.
Over the past 11 years, Green Villain has created 53 public art sites and built relationships with hundreds of artists, business owners, landlords, city officials, and community members to show how public art can positively impact the lives of city residents and, in times of need, be used as a vehicle to get important messages out to people.
“I believe it’s the responsibility of every single individual alive today to take a part of the community they live in onto their shoulders and walk blindly into the light in the hope of improving a piece of their world,” said Edgell. “That is the spark that inspired me to bring this project to this section of Jersey City. Anyone with questions or interest in contributing, please contact me directly at 973-610-5145.”
Header: Photo by Jayne Freeman