Friday, December 4, 2009

Kris Galloway: Hanukah events at JCC Columbus. Sunday December 13, 2009.

For her regular Friday announcements about events at the Jewish Community Center, Kriss Galloway highlighted the Community Hanukah Hop. Kris is Marketing and Communications Manager at the JCC,

This year’s Community Hanukah Hop is an invitation to the community to celebrate the Miracle of Lights.

The annual Hanukah Hop is Sunday, December 13 when families throughout central Ohio gather at the JCC to celebrate the Jewish festival of lights and find empowerment to incorporate a deeper meaning of Hanukah – something beyond gift giving – into their home celebrations.

Kris quoted some insights about Hanukah provided by Rabbi Zvi Kahn who is headmaster at Columbus Torah Academy.

“Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt,” said Rabbi Kahn. “The miracle of Hanukah is described in the Talmud. After the forces of Antiochus IV had been driven from the Temple, the Maccabees discovered that almost all of the ritual olive oil had been profaned. They found only a single container that was still sealed by the High Priest, which would be enough oil to keep the menorah in the Temple lit for a single day. They used this, and miraculously, the oil burned for eight days until new oil could be pressed and made ready.”

Kris also quoted Rabbi Mitch Levine, head of the Columbus Jewish Day School: “Although our traditional Hanukah stories emphasize the threat of an external enemy, history teaches us that Hanukah also commemorates a robust internal Jewish debate.”

“In the age of the Maccabees, our ancestors faced the challenge of preserving the relevance and vitality of Judaism without sacrificing its authenticity,” he said. “Hanukah observance at home can be deepened by having a family conversation around the menorah about how our Judaism can be modern and also remain true to itself.”

The Hanukah Hop will take place at the JCC, 1125 College Ave., Columbus, from 4 to 7 p.m. Sponsors of the event include the JCC, Columbus Torah Academy and Columbus Jewish Day School, along with the preschools at Congregation Agudas Achim, Beth Jacob Congregation, and Temple Israel. The P2K Young Partners Group of the Columbus Jewish Federation also is serving as an event sponsor.

“The Hanukah Hop is a unique way to bring all of the community’s families together for this most joyous celebration,” said JCC Executive Director Carol Folkerth. “Our hope is to encourage families with children in preschool through the teenage years to develop a deeper appreciation of Hanukah with its life lesson in risk taking, faith and remaining true to one's beliefs and practices.”

Admission to the Hanukah Hop is free; however, families are asked to bring canned food items for donation to the community’s homeless.

Activities being planned include a dreidel spinning contest, Hanukah bingo, and Hanukah arts and crafts in the JCC’s classrooms; e-cards to Israel, Hanukah stories, dramatic interpretations and balloon animals in the JCC lobby; jumpees, basketball, and exer-gaming in the JCC’s gymnasium; and foosball, air hockey, Xbox games, and pool in the JCC’s Teen Lounge.

Following the lighting of the JCC’s outdoor Hanukah menorah at 6:15 p.m., performances by the children in all of the sponsor preschools, as well as the CTA choir and the CJDS students, will be presented in the JCC’s Roth-Resler Theater.
A Kosher dinner will be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The menu includes Turkey Shwarma (or Hot Dog), Falafel, Latkes and Applesauce, Israeli Salad, Hummus, Cookies and Lemonade. Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for children under 8, and $25 for a family of 5. Reservations are required and are due by Tuesday, Dec. 8, by contacting Tina Rice at (614) 559-6276 or

The Hanukah Hop also will serve as the unveiling of plans for the JCC’s proposed “J Zone.” The J Zone is the next project in the It Begins with the Children Capital and Endowment Campaign and will be designed to serve the next generation of preschool and elementary aged children with a variety of cutting edge fitness, play and interactive gaming equipment and programs. Those attending the Hanukah Hop will have the first opportunity to test a few of the ExerGames planned for installation in the new indoor play area. (Special thanks to Circuit Wellness owner Polly Benson for providing the ExerGame equipment.)

For more information, visit the JCC website at, or call (614) 231-2731.

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