It's beginning to look a lot like Chanukah in Rye, from Chanukahpalooza at the of Rye to Tot Shabat at Rye's . Both congregations are celebrating the event, also called the "Festival of Lights," at different times on Friday, Dec.3.
Chanukah, also called Hannukah, is Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days, which begins this year at sunset on Dec. 1 and continues until Dec. 9. The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt, which took place in the 2nd century and helped to expand the boundaries of Israel, according to Sarit Katzew, assistant to Rabbi Daniel Gropper of the Community Synagogue of Rye on 200 Forest Ave.
"Chanukah basically celebrates an ancient time when there was only enough sacred oil in the temple to burn for one night, but instead the candelabrum burned for eight days and nights," she said.
For the past several years, the Community Synagogue has been commemorating that event with a youth-accented Hanukkah celebration called "Chanukahpalooza," according to Ms. Kazew.
She said that "Chanukahpalooza" includes "great music, worship and fun."
The program begins with a simplified service for Early Childhood Centers families as well as all families with children aged 2 to 6. Chanukahpalooza runs from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. The service will be conducted by Peter and Ellen Allard who are recording artists, performing musicians and educators.
Chanukahpalooza will be followed by an WRJ organized Shabbat dinner served buffet style, according to Ms. Katzew, who explained that WRJ is an acronym for Women Reformed Judaism, also known as the Sisterhood, while Shabbat means Sabbath.
The cost of the dinner, she said, is $18 per person, $10 per child, with a $60 maximum per family.
Attendees are also asked to bring a coat to donate to the needy to kick off the Social Action Committee's December Coat Drive, according to Ms. Kazew.
Dinner will be followed by a special service conducted by the Allards. Attendees are urged to bring their Menorah (a nine-branched candelabrum), and candles for the "Festival of the Lights" celebration. The evening will conclude with a sing-a-long.
Rye's Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester, 2125 Westchester Ave., will also hold a dual Hannukah Celebration on Dec. 3. The first is called " Tot Shabbat for Little Ones: Lights. Laughs. Latke" with art, games and food for children 6 months to 4 years old, according to spokesperson Margie McCabe. The free "Tot" event runs from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Rabbi Howard Goldsmith will give the service.
McCabe said attendees should bring a new unwrapped toy for the UJA Federation of NY-Westchester Gift of Hannukah Toy Drive.
There will also be a family service that evening at 7:30 p.m. with Rabbi Goldsmith and Cantor Meredith Stone presiding, she said. Families are reminded to bring their Menorahs.
Registration: 914-967-4382. For more information: Contact Ms. McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Chanukahpalooza, call 914-967-6262.