FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Saratoga Chabad hosts Chanukah Party at Wilton Mall
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.
Rabbi Abba Rubin of Saratoga Chabad stands by a Chanukah display at Wilton Mall.
Crazy Christine creates balloon animals for children on Sunday during a Chanukah Party at Wilton Mall.
A Chanukah Party is held on Sunday at Wilton Mall.