Written by Rosemary Smith Photos by Amy Stern
This year’s fun and festive Hanukkah celebration, organized by Leslie Sheitman, Rosemary Smith, Julie Wynmor and Dan Zackary. Several generations of Kol Haskalah community members and visitors were in attendance. Dreidel games took place all over the Fellowship Hall, and the younger Sunday School students wore some great costumes; there were little ones dressed as menorah candles, dreidel letters, and pieces of Hanukkah gelt. The musicians (Dan Zachary, Rich Stern, Tom Gordon, and Lauren Robins-Pollack) warmed up, while in the kitchen the intrepid latke friers (Lance Thompson, Rich Stern, Frances Presma, Valerie Brown, Scott Rendell, and Alice McCall-Smith) were hard at work. Rosemary Smith led the Hanukkah “Service” with the help of Julie Wynmor and this year’s Mitzvah class students, Hazel, Ilan, Max, Spencer, Eli and Aaron. The Mitzvah students had also done a great job making the candle, dreidel, and gelt costumes for the little ones.
Rosemary and the Mitzvah students talked about the history behind the story of Hanukkah and the background behind lighting the Menorah, eating latkes and playing the dreidel game. As each of the eight candles were described, with help from the members of the congregation who were reading responsively, each one of the little ones came “onstage” in his or her candle costume, complete with flame headdress. By the end, the children had formed a beautiful living Hannukkiah, with 8 candles and shamash in the center, and were ready to sing along to “I’m a little latke”. While Rosemary talked about the Dreidel Game, 4 children came onstage, dressed up as sides of a dreidel decorated with one of four Hebrew letters. They stood back to back and the dreidel “spun” as we all sang “I Have a Little Dreidel” Dan gave each child who wanted to take a a turn a chance to stand at the microphone and sing their favorite verse of “I have a Little Dreidel.” There were many hilarious and original verses. The service ended with a “train” procession of all the little candles, dreidels and gelt around and among the tables as people clapped and sang “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah. , Rich and Dan entertained us with a hip hop Hanukkah song. Several people had constructed menorahs at home and brought them in to display, including Hazel and Aaron. Each designer brought their menorah forward and told a little about its design and construction. During the marvelous pot luck meal, Marv Axelrod entertained us with a hilarious Hanukkah poem, while we ate our fill of great salads, many casseroles, lovingly cooked delicious latkes, and tasty desserts.