The Santa Monica Synagogue attempted to establish a new Guinness World Record for the most people to simultaneously spin a dreidel for at least ten seconds at the Third Street Promenade on the second night of Hanukkah Monday, December 22nd.

The dreidel is a four-sided top bearing the Hebrew letters nun, gimel, he, and shin — one on each side — used chiefly in a children’s game traditionally played on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

Hundreds helped the Santa Monica Synagogue “come close” in an attempt to break the “dreidel spinning” world record, currently 541 people, held by a congregation in New Jersey, but the effort fell a little short, said Rabbi Jeff Marx of the Santa Monica Synagogue.

“We really filled the Promenade, but not quite enough to break the world’s record,” Marx said. “We will be back next year.”

Representatives of the Bayside District Corporation, which manages the Third Street Promenade and downtown Santa Monica, attended the event along with former Santa Monica Mayor Herb Katz and representatives of other local Santa Monica synagogues. Mayor Ken Genser introduced the event.

The Santa Monica Synagogue was under the direction of Marx for the record dreidel spin attempt. Local Santa Monica synagogues took turns lighting the menorah on the Promenade between Santa Monica Boulevard and Arizona Avenue each night of Hanukkah. A selection of Jewish music, provided by cantor Doug Cotler, preceded the event December 22nd.

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