Cel­e­brat­ing Chanu­cah the al­ter­na­tive way

The Jewish Chronicle - - ARTS&BOOKS - BY DANA GLOGER AND ALEX KAS­RIEL

CHANU­CAH IS NOT all about dough­nuts and drei­dls. There are a num­ber of al­ter­na­tive Chanu­cah cel­e­bra­tions on of­fer this year, which of­fer a new twist on the can­dle-light­ing and latke tra­di­tion. Big Brother’s Ziggy Lich­man will be com­pèring LightMyFire, amu­sicevent in Soho, Lon­don, hosted by Jen­er­a­tion, backed by the Re­form Move­ment.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity for me to con­nect with other young Jews, es­pe­cially at this party time of year,” he says. Join­ing him will be plat­inum-sell­ing singer-song­writer Lu­cie Sil­vas and rock band Rocket.

“We de­cided we wanted to do some­thing in the Christ­mas party sea­son specif­i­cally for Chanu­cah right in the cen­tre of the cap­i­tal,” says or­gan­iser Jim Fletcher. “We wanted to in­volve as many of the hot, young Jewish tal­ent that’s out there as we could.”

The event takes place on Sun­day, De- cem­ber 9 at the Soho Re­vue Bar, Brewer Street, Lon­don W1. Tick­ets are £12 in ad­vance and £15 at the door. Call 020 8349 5684.

8 Nights is a one-off evening of live mu­sic, video art, dance and DJs at the Cargo Club in Lon­don’s East End.

The event will cen­tre on the rit­ual of can­dle-light­ing, with each of the per­form­ers rep­re­sent­ing a can­dle. For what must be the first time ever, an au­di­ence will be able to wit­ness a nine-branch hu­man can­dle­stick play a mix of jazz, funk, klezmer and break­beat mu­sic.

Juliet Sim­mons, creative di­rec­tor of the Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, which is back­ing the event, says: “8 Nights is an orig­i­nal and 21st-cen­tury twist on the tra­di­tional Jewish fes­ti­val of lights.”

MaxRein­hardt,amu­si­cian,com­poser and DJ who will be per­form­ing at the event, says: “I’m very much part of the idea of rein­ter­pret­ing and open­ing out rit­u­als to make them more in­clu­sive to both Jewish and non-Jewish peo­ple.”

He added that the is­sues of Chanu­cah had par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance to the con­tem­po­rary world. “It’s a very rel­e­vant story for to­day be­cause it’s about is­sues such as oil and free­dom fight­ers. So it has a res­o­nance in terms of global and Mid­dle East­ern pol­i­tics.

“The core of the event will be the can­dles, so im­me­di­ately we home in on the rit­ual. We would like to cre­ate some­thing en­ter­tain­ing but which also opens out the rit­u­als and makes us think about where we are.”

The evening will also in­clude a lo-fi set from Oi Va Voi. 8 Nights is pro­duced by Yad Arts, whose founder and creative di­rec­tor is the JC’s arts ed­i­tor-at-large, Josephine Bur­ton. The event will be held at Cargo, River­ton Street, Lon­don EC2A. En­trance £8 in ad­vance or £10 on the door. Call 020 7431 9866.

A JCC evening ex­plor­ing the con­tem­po­rary is­sues raised by Chanu­cah takes place on Tues­day De­cem­ber 11, the eighth and last night of the fes­ti­val.

Jewdas, a group of self-pro­claimed “rad­i­cal voices for the al­ter­na­tive di­as­pora”, is hold­ing its own al­ter­na­tive event. De­tails are sketchy — the group failed to re­turn the JC’s calls (rad­i­cal!) — but ac­cord­ing to its web­site: “The com­bined forces of Opus Dei, Scien­tol­ogy, Is­lamic Ji­had and the Kab­balah Cen­tre are plot­ting a dark and twisted evening of black magic, spirit sum­mon­ing and goats.” It adds that Jef­frey Co­hen — the code name which many Jewdas mem­bers use — had been cho­sento“leadthe­ex­traor­di­naryevent” which will take place on De­cem­ber 8. The web­site adds: “We leave the last word to a slightly wor­ried Jef­frey who would like to warn all those plan­ning to at­tend his event that they will not leave in quite the same state that they en­tered.”

The mys­te­ri­ous pro­ceed­ing take place from 9pm

t h e Boys’ Club, Dal­ston Lane, Hack­ney, Lon­don E8. Tick­ets on the door.

For sea­sonal laughs, head to the Ade­laide Pub in NW3 to watch Cha­sidic comic Yis­rael Camp­bell. The Amer­i­can­born Camp­bell — who was orig­i­nally named Christo­pher —has got to have a sense of hu­mour af­ter con­vert­ing to Ju­daism three times (Re­form, Con­ser­va­tive then Ortho­dox). His off-Broad­way show is called You Can Never Be Too Jewish. The com­edy night, hosted by the Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion, is at The Ade­laide pub, Ade­laide Road, Lon­don NW3 on De­cem­ber 9 at 7pm and 9pm. Tick­ets £15 (£10 stu­dents) from the ZF on 020 8343 9756.

For those who need their fix of high cul­ture to help cel­e­brate the fes­ti­val of lights, the Lon­don Jewish Cul­tural Cen­tre is host­ing a Chanu­cah cel­e­bra­tion for vi­o­lin and cello with Gemma Rose­field and Yvonne Be­har, who play Jewish classical mu­sic. The pro­gramme in­cludes Bruch’s Kol Nidre, Judeo Span­ish songs, mu­sic by Bloch and tra­di­tional fes­ti­val melodies. The con­cert is at Ivy House, North End Road, Lon­don NW11 on De­cem­ber 5 at 1.30pm. Tick­ets are £10 on 020 8457 5000.

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