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The Faces of Chanukah 

Central Massachusetts celebrated the Festival of Lights with numerous events, including the community-wide celebration at Polar Park in Worcester-sponsored by Jewish Federation of Central Mass., Torah Center, PJ Library, the WooSox, and all the area congregations. 

How many community members can you identify in this beautiful Chanukah mosaic of faces?

First Chanukah Festival of (Laser) Light ignites Pioneer Valley 

Enjoying the Chanukah Festival of (Laser) Light were, from left to right, Rabbi Riqi Kosovske, Keren Rhodes, Nora Gorenstein, and Rabbi James Greene. Photo courtesy Jewish Federation of Western MA.

Sen. Eric Lesser, left, and Nora Gorenstein, interim director of the Jewish Federation at the Chanukah Laser show and festival. Photo courtesy Jewish Federation of Western MA

The dazzling laser lights of the Pioneer Valley Chanukah Festival in Northampton. Photo courtesy Jewish Community of Amherst.

WESTERN MASS — The Jewish Federation of Western Mass. ignited the laser lights of Chanukah in a galaxy far, far away – actually, it was Northampton – for the first-ever Pioneer Valley public Chanukah “Festival of (Laser) Light” on Dec. 4.

The Chanukah Festival of (Laser) Light at the Pines Theater in Florence’s Look Park – enjoyed by community members of all ages — included a dazzling laser light show, the retelling of the Chanukah story, and a Chanukah singalong with local musician and educator Felicia Sloin. 

Funding for the festival was provided by the Federation and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and was presented in collaboration with the Jewish Community of Amherst, Congregation B’nai Israel, Lander Grinspoon Academy, Camp Laurelwood, Beit Ahavah, and the Springfield JCC/PJ Library. 

“This holiday season is an opportunity to come together in hope and joy to celebrate our strength as a unique, diverse Western Massachusetts community in partnership with our friends and neighbors,” said Nora Gorenstein, interim executive director of the Jewish Federation of Western Mass. “We wanted to bring the Festival of (Laser) Light to the Pioneer Valley as part of our commitment to providing accessible opportunities for people of all faiths, ages, and identities to connect and engage with our Jewish community.” 

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