JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A local rabbi and his wife are opening their home for service members in Onslow County who need a place to worship. 

During this year’s Hanukkah, they’re having an open menorah lighting for the entire community to be a part of. The last Synagogue in Onslow County closed in the 90s, which forced most to travel elsewhere for their worship. But with Rabbi Yerachmiel Altman and his wife in town, they hope to change that.  

“A place of worship is one thing, but to be a home is a completely different thing. And that’s really what we’re aiming for,” said Altman. 

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Rabbi Altman is hoping to bring light in the darkness.  

“[Service men and women] are looking for a shoulder, they’re looking for a pace. They’re looking for a parent or grandparent, they’re looking for somebody that they can talk to one-on-one,” said Altman.

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The Altmans are bringing tradition to the local Marines and Sailors who are so far from home.  

“Some of them were really excited and hadn’t had latkes, since they’d been in the Marines. They couldn’t imagine having real freshly made latkes,” said Altman. 

Rabbi Altman and his wife moved to Onslow County in 2021. Since then, they’ve opened their doors for meals, classes, and different Jewish traditions. 

“Faith in the military is critical. You go through a lot of difficult times, you have your brother, Marines, your left and your right, you need that faith to sustain you through those troubled times,” said Jacksonville resident and former Marine, Gabriel Pintos. 

And on Sunday, they hosted around 50 people to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah. They are hoping to let service members know that they’re there for them now and going forward.  

“We’re welcome to everyone.  We’re not exclusive,” said Altman. “Anybody wants to come and observe and learn, we’re open.” 

The Altmans will host the Menorah lighting at their home through the rest of Hanukkah. Check the times and address on the flyer above.