On the second night of Chanukah, the Santa Monica Synagogue attempted to set a new world record: Most Dreidels Spinning Simultaneously.
The group, which attracted both children and adults, gathered between Arizona Street and Santa Monica on the Third Street Promenade and waited for the potentially historic event to take place. Santa Monica Mayor Ken Genser officially opened the ceremony, proclaiming, "Santa Monica is now the dreidel spinning capital of the world!"
The synagogue needed at least 542 spinners to break the previous record of 541, set in 2005 by Temple Emanuel of Cherry Hill, N.J.
In accordance with Guinness's strict regulations, Santa Monica Synagogue Rabbi Jeffrey Marx directed volunteers to not only keep an official tally, but also to enforce the strict rules for event, which require one dreidel per person and that all dreidels must spin simultaneously for 10 full seconds. Any type of dreidel was acceptable, regardless of whether the miracle took place 'there' or 'here.'
But on the promenade's cracked and creased pavement, spinning a dreidel for 10 seconds proved harder for the less experienced spinners. Ultimately, the effort fell short of its goal, only 336 dreidel spinners hit their 10-second mark.
Marx said he was nevertheless pleased with turnout, but added a of caution to New Jersey: "We'll be back next year to try it again."