Baker and Klein's budding collection started organically: both realized they had acquired a small collection without making a conscious decision to collect. "I don't have any specific collecting plans," says Liz Baker. "I love that people just give me them. Each one I get has a bit of the person in them."

Hurwitz-Schwab, however, set out to build a collection of menorahs after her interest was sparked by a particular artist.

"I consciously decided to collect," she says. "I have three menorahs from Yaacov Agam – an Israeli artist who does some very modern, abstract work. He's done a number of menorahs. The first one I got is a Hanukkah menorah and each candleholder is a dreidel with an O-ring, so you can spin it on the menorah. Buying that set off my desire to collect."

According to Michele Rubin, the owner of Zyzyx, a store in The Shops at Quarry Lake, Hurwitz-Schwab's story is a common one.

"People come in looking for a certain designer or artist," she says. "If an artist comes out with a different menorah each year, they'll want one."

At Zyzyx, Rubin sells menorahs by a variety of artists, including the Reisterstown ceramic artist Olga Goldin. "She does beautiful handmade menorahs," says Rubin. "Her work is Judaica-themed."

Other popular themes include Stars of David, dreidels, the tree of life and scenes of Jerusalem.

"You can never have too many menorahs," says Rubin. "Some people just buy them because they're beautiful. They don't even use them. They're art."

Hurwitz-Schwab agrees. "We have family menorahs that we light," she explains. "But I don't light the collection menorahs. When my two boys were young, we would each light one. The boys each had one and my husband and I had our family ones."

In Hampden next week, the Baker family will carry out that same tradition, lighting a few menorahs, while surrounded by more.

"There's a feeling of awe, belonging, being part of a Jewish community," says Baker. "Being surrounded by menorahs is a beautiful thing."