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Happy Chanukah!



SPRINGFIELD – “Chanukah in the Hay” & PJ Library Kick-Off; enjoy an outdoor petting zoo, bounce houses, crafts, smacks and more for families with children of all ages; 10 a.m. – noon, at the Springfield Jewish Community Center; FREE & open to the public.


SPRINGFIELD – “First Light” – Come celebrate the light and miracle of the first night of Chanukah with community cande lighting and singing as the largest menorah in Western Massachusetts is lit, 5-5:45 p.m., at the Springfield Jewish Community Center, 

WESTBOROUGH – Outdoor Menorah Dedication and Chanukah Celebration at Congregation B’nai Shalom; the community is invited to join CBI for the first night of Hanukkah and the dedication of a new outdoor menorah; with hot drinks, food, music and more,
5-6 p.m., 117 East Main St., (Rain date Monday, Nov 29, 6 pm.), 


SPRINGFIELD – The SKLC Annual Chanukah Celebration, with raffles, fair trade chocolate for sale and entertainment by students; 5:45 p.m., to register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSffRNsE1qAygFdDj3EdgASi8d6P1g7I-9O7SnWMs2D0w16TAg/viewform

Tuesday NOV. 30

WORCESTER – Torah Center Chanukah lightingat Worcester Common 6-8pm


SPRINGFIELD – Temple Beth El’s Chanukah Dinner, 7 p.m., following 6 p.m., Friday night service; dinner catered by Meital: field greens with roasted beets and glazed walnuts, orange chicken,, latkes and applesauce, fresh fruit and brownies (vegetarian option: stuffed zucchini with quinoa and tofu), $20/adults; $14/children 4-10; FREE/children 3 and younger; RSVP by Nov. 24; https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd8WGszpfcCw68EEPE5ilI57MlgGUchsc1kifVx30Rt0F9bAA/viewform   


AMHERST – Chanukah Laser Light Show; come learn what the science of lasers has to do with the Chanukah miracle, and celebrate in community, 7:15-8:15 p.m., Jewish Community of Amherst, event at Look Pak, 300 North Main Street, in Florence, for more info: (413) 256-0160.

WORCESTER/ZOOM – YAD In-person “Mask”erade Chanukah Hanukkah Celebration, 6:30 p.m., in the
Historic Whitcomb Mansion, contact: mhall@jfcm.org


NORTHAMPTON – Congregation B’nai Israel Chanukah Celebration; 3-9 p.m., Registration: cbinorthampton.org

SPRINGFIELD – “Last Light” – An adult gathering on the last night of Chanukah enjoying latkes and toppings, vodka cocktails and music, 4:30 – 6 p.m., Springfield Jewish Community Center, 1160 Dickinson St., $15/JCC members; $20/general public; **must be 21 or over to attend

WORCESTER – Community Chanukah Celebration at Polar Park Stadium, with menorah lighting, magic show, Chanukah workshops, latkes, sufganiyot and stadium-style dinner, 6:45 p.m., a project of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass., Torah Center and PJ Library.


SPRINGFIELD – Virtual Chanukah Concert with Mister G and Friends; interactive experience with Cantor Elise Barber joining Mister G; 5:30-6:30 p.m., FREE & open to the public; Register for kick-off: springfieldjcc.wufoo.com/forms/s5a71l90eb0uvv/; learn about Maccabi games: https://www.springfieldjcc.org/sports-and-rec/jcc-maccabi-experience/

Greening of the latkes

Kids won’t even know there are four different veggies in this variation on a holiday staple. We’ve all been there: trying to get the younger set to eat more vegetables, especially at holiday time. Here’s a recipe from a kid-friendly organization (the PJ Library) to add a dash of vitamins to their plates. In fact, have children lend a hand in the measuring and mixing, so they’re more invested in the tasty results. Hanukkah begins this year on the evening of Nov. 28 and ends the evening on Dec. 6.

Hidden Veggie Latkes (Pareve)
Makes 6 medium-sized latkes

1 large russet
otato, peeled
1 large zucchini, peeled
½ head of cauliflower
½ yellow onion
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
vegetable oil for frying

• Grate together potato, zucchini, cauliflower and onion. Use a food processor to make this step faster.
• Wrap the vegetable mixture in a cheesecloth or a lightweight kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
• In a large bowl, combine vegetables with garlic, flour, baking powder, eggs, salt and pepper.
• In a frying pan, heat ½ inch of oil on medium-high. Carefully drop a heaping tablespoon of latke mixture into the oil.
• Fry for roughly 2 minutes, then flip and fry the other side.
• Transfer each latke to a paper towel-lined platter.
• Serve while warm with applesauce or other fruit.


PJ Library’s fun, family friendly resources include Hanukkah Hub and podcasts

AGAWAM – This year, Hanukkah, the holiday of lights, runs from Nov. 28 through Dec. 6. PJ Library, long a leader in providing engaging ways for families to connect with Jewish life, offers a wealth of free resources including kid-friendly Hanukkah stories, printable recipes and activity ideas, book lists, as well as two new story-based podcasts that help kids learn more about the traditions behind the festival of lights.

 PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation which delivers more than 680,000 free Jewish storybooks to kids around the world each month. Jewish families of all backgrounds, including interfaith households, and at all levels of Jewish knowledge and observance may sign up every child in their home for a free subscription to receive a new, age-specific book each month. What could be a better Hanukkah gift than to receive a delightful, beautifully illustrated book arriving in the mailbox each month? PJ Library’s team of experts and educators curate the book list to provide the very best children’s stories that celebrate Jewish values, traditions, and culture to engage all Jewish families.

 Beyond the books, PJ Library’s experts have updated their Hanukkah Hub, which offers child-friendly versions of the Hanukkah story along with myriad craft ideas, delicious holiday recipes, and printables. 

New for 2021 are the two new PJ Library Presents podcasts for kids: “Afternoons with Mimi” and “Beyond the Bookcase.” The November episodes will be perfect Hanukkah listening (on your favorite podcast platform): Grandma Mimi prepares a delicious plate of sufganiyot and tells her grandchild the story of Judah Maccabee. Then, on “Beyond the Bookcase,” follow Miri and Micah as they are transported back to Mashal to help Jack Be Nimble find the courage to jump over a hanukkiyah full of candles. When they launched, the two new story-based audio series climbed to the top 10 of Apple’s podcasts for kids.

 Long a resource for interfaith families, PJ Library also offers guidance this year, including their list of Hanukkah Books for Interfaith Families. They are co-presenting two webinars with 18Doors, an organization dedicated to empowering interfaith families and individuals to engage in Jewish life and make educated Jewish choices. For those balancing both big end-of-year holidays, these webinars will be engaging and informative: What to Do in December: A Live Q&A for Grandparents Balancing Hanukkah & Christmas and What to Do in December: A Live Q&A for Parents Balancing Hanukkah & Christmas.

 For more Hanukkah gift ideas, PJ Library has set up shop at amazon.com/pjlibrary where families can find colorful aprons for cooking and crafting and books from the PJ Library imprint, PJ Publishing, including recent additions Havdalah Sky and Laila Tov, Moon. 


Chanukah campaign distributes menorahs across Israel to university and gap year students from abroad

(JNS Wire) Jeff Seidel, author of The Jewish Traveler’s Resource Guide and founder of several Jewish Student Centers at universities in Israel, has begun a Chanukah menorah distribution campaign providing nearly 1,000 menorah packets to overseas students throughout Israel. 

The menorahs are going to students studying at The Reichman University (IDC), Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University as well as gap year students from programs such as Aardvark, Young Judea and Kivunim. 

For some students, this will be their first time lighting a menorah.

“Many gap year programs are off during Chanukah, and now students will be able to take their menorahs with them wherever they go so that they can light their own menorah on all the nights of the holiday,” Seidel said.

Jeff Seidel

One group of  students will be travelling to Poland during this Chanukah, “knowing that they will be able to light their menorahs in a place where there was once no light for the Jewish people will be an extremely powerful, unforgettable and moving experience for all of us,” he added.

This is not Seidel’s first menorah distribution initiative, and he plans to continue the program for years to come.

Seidel said he “hopes to inspire students to be lighting their menorahs this year and years to come when they may be the minority at the universities and where they are battling the BDS movement. Wherever our students may be not only will they light their own menorah but will invite, encourage, and inspire their friends to light menorahs with them. Spreading their Chanukah miracle around the world.”

Seidel, a native of Chicago, made Aliyah to Israel in 1982. Since 1982, then he has introduced thousands of Jewish college students to their first Shabbat experience and offered free tours and classes through his Jewish Student Centers at Hebrew U in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, and IDC in Herzliya. He has lived in Jerusalem’s Old City for more than 30 years. His Jewish Traveler’s Resource Guide lists Shabbat placement programs around the world.

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