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Chanukah Happenings

Springfield JCC announces virtual Chanukah Events

SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Jewish Community Center (the J) will present a virtual celebration of Chanukah, including the lighting of the largest outdoor menorah in Western Massachusetts, and a festive community concert. 

• First Light, Virtual Edition, Thursday, December 10, 5:30 PM

Celebrate the light and miracle of the first night of Chanukah. Join us for virtual community candle lighting and singing as the Springfield JCC “livestreams” the lighting of the largest outdoor menorah in Western Massachusetts. 

Deborah Sacks Mintz

• Virtual Concert: A Community Celebration of Hanukkah,  Saturday, December 12, 7:00 PM

Join us virtually on the third night of Hanukkah for Havdalah, menorah lighting, and a festive concert with musician Deborah Sacks Mintz, a leading voice in the Jewish music soundscape. Pre-registration is required. Visit to register for the concert.

“Chanukah is a holiday that celebrates religious tolerance and resilience,” says Deb Krivoy, Chief Operating Officer of the JCC. “Now more than ever, we look forward to ‘bringing light’ to the whole community.” 

Pre-registration for The J’s Chanukah programming is required. Visit to register for the concert. Programs are free and open to the community. First Light is sponsored by the Springfield JCC and supported by the Sklar Family. The Virtual Concert is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Western Mass., Temple Beth El, Sinai Temple, and Camp Laurelwood. For more information about the J’s Chanukah programs, call (413) 739-4715 or email


Community Drive-In Chanukah in Worcester 

WORCESTER – The Jewish Federation of Central Mass. will present “Worcester Community Chanukah 5781: Light Up the Darkness!” a Drive-In  Chanukah Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Theatre Event on Sunday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m., in the parking lot of the Worcester JCC, 633 Salisbury St. Sign up:


LYA plans Covid 19 safe Chanukah programs 

LONGMEADOW – Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy will be sponsoring public menorahs around town. Menorahs will be lit daily at the following locations: Court Square Downtown Springfield, Longmeadow Shops near Starbucks, Longmeadow Town Green and at LYA, 1148 Converse St. When visiting the public menorahs, take a selfie and send them to

• An interactive Chanukah Scavenger Hunt will be held on Sunday, Dec. 13. 

Children will be able to embark on a Covid safe scavenger hunt journey with their families, discovering Chanukah’s message as they drive around town and end with a special activity to take home. The drive begins at LYA, 1148 Converse Str., in Longmeadow at 11 a.m., where participants will receive their first clue. The Chanukah experience is made possible by CKids Club International, an initiative that inspires children to make a meaningful impact in their communities through educational programs exploring the richness of Judaism. Limited spots are available, so sign up today at by emailing This event is open to the entire community and designed for the whole family.

8th Day

• Join LYA for drive-in concert featuring 8th Day on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. at Springfield Jewish Community Center
Parking Lot at 1160 Dickinson St., Springfield. 

8th Day is an American Hasidic pop rock band based in Los Alamitos, Calif. Formed in 2004 by brothers Shmuel and Bentzion Marcus, the group gained popularity in the Jewish music scene with their album Chasing Prophecy and its lead single, “Ya’alili”, whose video became a minor viral hit on YouTube.

Each car will receive a special Chanukah bag with refreshments. Join in a menorah lighting honoring the heroes of Covid 19, who are bringing light into our world. Decorate your car and be entered to win fun raffle prizes. The concert will be viewed on large screens and listened to in the comfort of your car. RSVP required: or (413) 567-8665.

• Join LYA rabbis for an evening of Chanukah Comedy on Wednesday, Dec. 16 

At 7:30 p.m. Rabbi Chaim Kosofsky and Rabbi Yakov Wolff will make sure you laugh a lotke and keep you spinning with their jokes. RSVP to and the link to this not to be missed event will be sent to you two days before the event. 

Grand Menorah Lighting In Central Mass.

WORCESTER – Central Mass Chabad will present a “Grand Menorah Lighting” on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 4 p.m. at The Menorah at Newton Square, continuing a tradition that began in 1970.

Besides the public candlelighting, the event will include a children’s program, festive Chanukah treats, music and more. CDC safety guidelines will be followed.

On Dec. 16, the 6th night of Chanukah, Central Mass Chabad will share the light of Chanukah with a “Chanukah Menorah Parade.” Cars should begin to light up at Central Mass Chabad, 22 Newton St. at 5 p.m.; the parade leaves at 5:30 p.m.



YAD Celebrates Chanukah

CENTRAL MASS. – Yad, the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass. will offer several Chanukah events:

• Chanukah Goodie Bag 

YAD will be distributing Chanukah goodie bags to the first 50 households that sign up and will contain items to use throughout our Chanukah celebrations. Two contactless pickup locations will be provided. To pick up a bag after Dec. 10, contact directly.

• Virtual First Night of Chanukah Candle Lighting 

Thursday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m., via Zoom. 

• Virtual Chanukah Party 

Sunday Dec. 13 4 p.m. Join us for candle lighting, dreidel games, schmoozing and a gift exchange. If you would like to participate in the gift exchange please sign up on the Goodie Bag Google Doc. Please limit gifts to $10. Drop of your gift when picking up your Goodie Bag and we will have another gift waiting for you to take home. 

• Virtual Post Chanukah Shabbat

Friday Dec. 18 7:30 p.m. 

• Virtual Movie Watch Party 

Friday Dec. 25 at 2 p.m. Come join us for this time-honored Jewish tradition. The family-friendly movie TBD.  Bring your own Chinese food. A special item for this night will be in the Goodie Bag.


Live Concert with Neshama Carleback

WORCESTER – Congregation Beth Israel and the Charlotte Koocher Music Fund will present a special online performance by singer, songwriter and educator Neshama Carlebach on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 6:30-08 p.m.

Havdallah and Chanukah candlelighting will be at 6:30 p.m.; the concert will begin at 7 p.m.

Suggested donation is $18-$54

The Zoom link will be emailed to all BI members; non-members should contact the BI office for access: or (508) 756-6204.

Main Photo: Neshama Carlebach

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