FES­TI­VAL OF LIGHTS

Saratoga Chabad hosts Chanukah Party at Wil­ton Mall

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Lau­ren Hal­li­gan lhal­li­[email protected]­i­tal­first­media.com re­porter

A spe­cial Chanukah Party was held on Sun­day at Wil­ton Mall to cel­e­brate the be­gin­ning of the eight-day Jewish hol­i­day.

The cel­e­bra­tion in­cluded en­ter­tain­ment by Sean the Prankster, bal­loon art by Crazy Cris­tine, tra­di­tional mu­sic, crafts, games and re­fresh­ments for fam­i­lies to en­joy.

Mem­bers of the Saratoga Chabad or­ga­nized the event, which took place in the mall hall­way on a busy shop­ping week­end.

“The mir­a­cle of Chanukah rep­re­sents the few and the many,” said Rabbi Abba Ru­bin of Saratoga Chabad.

“Tonight’s the first night of Chanukah. It’s very spe­cial,” the rabbi said while stand­ing near a booth with a large in­flat­able meno­rah and drei­del. “It’s a very happy hol­i­day. It’s sup­posed to spread the light.”

Ru­bin shared the ori­gin of some Chanukah tra­di­tions like eat­ing latkes, dairy and donuts, which were served at the party.

Small items in­clud­ing drei­dels, choco­late coins, can­dles and meno­rahs were avail­able for event­go­ers to take home.

As the ma­gi­cian and bal­loon artists en­ter­tained guests, Saratoga Chabad mem­ber Elena Ey­del­son of Saratoga Springs was run­ning a ta­ble with some Chanukah-themed games, arts and crafts for chil­dren. “For kids, it’s a big cel­e­bra­tion,” she said, men­tion

ing some of the fun cus­toms for young­sters.

Adults in the Jewish com­mu­nity en­joy Chanukah just as much.

“It’s one of my per­sonal fa­vorite hol­i­days - a lot of light,” she said.

“We’re try­ing to cre­ate a warm at­mos­phere,” Ru­bin said of Sun­day’s pub­lic event. He ex­plained that while many Jewish hol­i­days in­volve stay­ing in­side the home, Chanukah is all about go­ing out and spread­ing light through­out the world. “We live in a very dark world, there are a lot of anti-Semites - and in Ju­daism, we’re sup­posed to be very proud, not afraid. And even with the cli­mate not be­ing per­fect, we have to spread more light to the out­side.”

To con­tinue spread­ing light, Saratoga Chabad has two ad­di­tional events planned for this week. The first, called Chanukah Won­der­land, will fea­ture the Chanukah story along with donuts and hot latkes from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Mon­day, Dec. 22 in the Suss­man Room at Saratoga Springs Pub­lic Li­brary, lo­cated at 49 Henry St. in Saratoga Springs.

Then from noon to 2 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, Dec. 25, the Saratoga Chabad at 130 Cir­cu­lar St. in Saratoga Springs will host a Game Lunch in­clud­ing bagels and lox, donuts, latkes and an ar­ray of games.

More in­for­ma­tion about Saratoga Chabad and its up­com­ing events is avail­able on­line at www. sarato­gach­abad.com.

LAU­REN HAL­LI­GAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP

Rabbi Abba Ru­bin of Saratoga Chabad stands by a Chanukah dis­play at Wil­ton Mall.

LAU­REN HAL­LI­GAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP

Crazy Chris­tine cre­ates bal­loon an­i­mals for chil­dren on Sun­day dur­ing a Chanukah Party at Wil­ton Mall.

LAU­REN HAL­LI­GAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP

A Chanukah Party is held on Sun­day at Wil­ton Mall.

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