Hanukkah party closed out a wonderful year
by Carol Moore

Aranah and Judah Macabee
Aranah and Judah Macabee
     The holidays have come to an end, the Roman Calendar has ushered in its new decade and I look back on my first year as a member of the Hebrew Congregation with pride and joy in being a part of such a dynamic, caring group of people.
     I have learned much, gained greater spirituality and frankly, just had a good time. We are bound together by a year full of activity for the benefit of our community, and for our wonderful congregation. And we hope to enter into the next decade with greater wisdom and tolerance, tools necessary to help us realize our goal of making this a gentler, more prosperous world for all.
     We closed out the year with the celebration of Hanukkah. The Hebrew Congregation joined forces with Chabad to celebrate the Festival of Lights at Lilienfeld House, which was filled to the rafters with people, music, food and menorahs. It really was terrific to see such a great turnout and to have a chance to get better acquainted with the members of the Chabad, with whom sharing festivities is always a pleasure.
     The Synagogue was able to light its own unique menorah provided by My Brother's Workshop, a non-profit organization that trains at-risk young men with carpentry and other skills necessary for the construction trade. Several members built a gigantic menorah made of wood right onto the deck of Lilienfled house. The menorah was wired and ready to go. It was a thrill to hit the switch and fire up the shamash and first "candles" of Hannukah. The lights were visible from the deck of Lilienfeld all the way to Havensight for all to share.
     Henya Federman cooked up the main courses and managed to feed more than a hundred hungry people with delicious food, making it look effortless. Donald Pomeranz and Greg Ebenholtz were at the latke "station" frying away the fritters of festivity until full stomachs finally trumped demand (or they ran out of latke batter, whichever came first.) I, personally, ate at least three or four - if you consider that I was average, then they had to have fried up more than 400 of Donald's famous latkes to feed the crowd.
     And last but not least - the treat that not only satisfies the taste buds, but has the ability to transport one back to the joys of childhood - the Rabbi's very own, freshly made jelly donuts.
     We danced, we sang, we enjoyed those few hours of lightness and sharing, the times that make life worthwhile; the times that bind us into a cohesive force in which we can perform miracles.