Tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah!
According to Chabad.org, Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. For those of us who aren't attuned to the Jewish calendar, that translates to sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8 and will be celebrated until Sunday, Dec. 16.
Multiple celebrations will take place in Freehold this year.
- On Monday, Dec. 10 the menorah in front of the Hall of Records will be lit. The lighting will begin at 5 p.m.
- The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County will hold its Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Celebration with holiday songs on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 6 pm. Refreshments will be served. This is a free event open to the community. For more information, call the Museum at 732-252-6990 or visit www.jhmomc.org.
- On Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Freehold Raceway Mall the Chabad is teaming up with the Friendship Circle to build a giant giving menorah to benefit children with special needs. Please bring a bag of coilns to build the largest coin menorah. There will also be arts and carfts, doughnuts, and gelt. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. Please RSVP at 732-972-3687.
Outside of Freehold, celebrations will take place at the following locations.
Temple Shaari Emeth
Hanukkah Puppet Show: The Levity Puppets are putting on a Hanukkah puppet show at Shaari Emeth on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 11 a.m. The free show is geared towards children ages 2 through 6.
Youth Group Event: Sixth through eighth graders are invited to a Hanukkah Youth Group celebration on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Pizza and latkes will be served; admission is $10.
Hanukkah Family Service: Temple Shaari Emeth is holding a Hanukkah Family Service on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Temple Beth Shalom
Shabbat Dinner: A Hanukkah Shabbat dinner is being held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. Reservations must be made in advance through the Temple office. All children in attendance will work on building a Lego Menorah!
TBS Alive! Service: The Shabbat and Hanukkah TBS Alive! Service is being held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. This is the temple’s musical Shabbat Service.
Outdoor Hanukkah Menorah Lighting: The menorah will be lit outdroos on Monday, Dec. 10 at 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 6:15 p.m., and on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Walk of Lights: The Walk of Lights is being held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Please meet outside by the Hanukkah Menorah. The Walk of Lights will be followed by songs, stories, gelt, and latkes.
Shabbat and Hanukkah Services: Shabbat and Hanukkah Services will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14.
Chabad Lubavitch of Western Monmouth County
Adult Hanukkah Party: An Adult Hanukkah Party is being held at the Chabad Lubavitch of Western Monmouth County on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. There will be hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, raffles, and entertainment by comedian Doug Karpf. Please RSVP. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Hip-Hop Hanukkah: A Hip-Hop Hanukkah Party is being held at Shalom Torah Acedmy in Morganville on Sunday, Dec. 16 from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The cover costs $8 in advance and $10 at the door. There will be a dreidel moon bounce, candle dipping, live music, an area to design your own dreidels and a place to make your own doughnuts!
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the story of the Maccabean Revolt against Syrian rulers in present day Israel 2,300 years ago. The Maccabees wanted to rededicate Jerusalem's main temple but had only enough oil to kindle the Eternal Light for one day. The oil lasted for eight days, according to the story, and the holiday of Hanukkah was born.
Today, Jews generally celebrate by gathering together with family, lighting one candle on the menorah each of the eight nights, playing dreidel and eating special holiday foods such as potato latkes and babka.
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?