Hanukkah Events Around the Tri-Valley | New

After remaining socially aloof last year, the Tri-Valley Jewish community is coming together to celebrate a particularly meaningful Hanukkah holiday in person this year.

“We’re really happy to be back in person,” Rabbi Larry Milder of the Beth Emek congregation in Pleasanton told The Weekly. “We are lucky to have a good space where we can accommodate people and still have enough space for the seats to be a bit far apart. It really is a safe space for people; it means a lot to everyone. “

Starting Sunday, Beth Emek and Chabad of the Tri-Valley will both commemorate the Festival of Lights over its eight-night span with a number of local attractions and in-person events, including special services from Hanukkah and menorah lightings.

Beth Emek will have online candle lighting from November 28 to December 5, starting at 6:30 p.m. Different members of the congregation will lead the lighting of the candles each evening and open with a different song. “It’s a very special, very warm and friendly way of doing Chanukah, even though it’s online,” Milder said.

The Sabbath on Chanukah “is a big deal for our congregation,” and each family then brings their menorah to the Friday night service at the Beth Emek congregation.

“We’ve set up a bunch of tables and it’s bright and it’s really dazzling to see the variety of Hanukkah menorahs that people have,” Milder added.

Beth Emek’s Friday night service on December 3 will be the same as the other weekly services “but with Hanukkah prayers added,” according to Milder, as well as Chanukah songs, recounting the origins of the holiday, and, of course, , festive lighting of the menorah. The service will also start half an hour later at 8:00 p.m. Milder said people are welcome to join indoors (and masked) or online, where all of Beth Emek’s services are broadcast live.

People can also stock up on latkes and other Jewish fare at a Wise Sons Deli pop-up in the Beth Emek Congregation parking lot earlier on December 3 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

“People can order real Hanukkah deli dishes for the house, they’ll be here with their food truck delivering the orders on Friday afternoon,” Milder said. (According to her blog, Milder recommends using leftover cranberry sauce from this week’s Thanksgiving feast for a tasty latke filling that’s different from applesauce or sour cream, as usual.)

Chabad of the Tri-Valley is hosting multiple opportunities to celebrate Chanukah in person over the coming week.

“We want to bring the spirit of Chanukah to the community this year, so we’re going to do everything this year, that’s our motto, and people are very excited,” Rabbi Raleigh Resnick said in an interview.

Resnick said that “as good as the Internet and Zoom are, it doesn’t represent that human interaction that is so desperately needed. We want to encourage the community to come in person,” starting with Hanukah on Ice in Dublin, Iceland on November 28. from 3.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“We’re making fire on ice,” Resnick added. “We’re going to have a big, big menorah on the rink with fire. It’s really a packed Hanukkah, it’s amazing.”

Skaters will be entertained by Hanukkah music, both Jewish and Israeli, and will then be able to stock up on free drinks, donuts and, of course, latkes. Tickets cost $ 15 per person. Dublin Iceland is located at 7212 San Ramon Rd. In Dublin.

Chanukah Wonderland continues the festivities for a week and more at the Grand Court at Stoneridge Mall on November 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. we’re going back inside, ”Resnick said.

Visitors can play games, make candles, enjoy live music, photo ops and balloon animal designs, design their own dreidel, and participate in a gelt toss. The lighting of a nine foot menorah completes the free event.

While many people associate Chanukah with eating piles of latkes, Resnick said a special Greek Shabbat dinner will be offered at the Pleasanton Jewish Center (3370 Hopyard Rd.) For $ 25 per person on December 3, in from 6.30 p.m.

The menu includes halibut in wine tomato sauce, Greek lemon chicken soup, creamy eggplant spread, moussaka, green beans, pita bread and three desserts: halva, baklava and a traditional Hanukkah treat called sufganiyot, a type of donut filled with jelly. Cabernet wine will also be served with the meal.

Resnick said the Hellenic take on this year’s Hanukkah feast is a nod to the feast’s origins in the fact that the Jews defeated the Greeks in the Maccabean uprising and re-dedicated the Second Temple to Jerusalem during the 2nd century BC.

“Chanukah celebrates victory, so we appreciate their food and use it to celebrate and bring joy to our community,” Resnick said.

The final evening of in-person festivities ends with Hanukah Under the Stars at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore (2400 First St.). Starting at 7:30 p.m., the hour-long event features a drop of gelt by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, menorah lighting with local dignitaries including Supervisor David Haubert, as well as the live music, a big raffle, hot drinks and more latkes and donuts.

Chabad is also accepting pre-orders for donut pickups at the Jewish Center on November 28 and December 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As part of the traditional Jewish Sabbath observance by Chabad, no electronic devices or live streaming are used, meaning that Chabad’s services can only be attended in person and masked.

“It’s been a really tough year, and I think everyone relates to the idea that (Hanukkah is) the feast of light and a feast of hope, and that in the darkest times, the things can get better, ”Milder said. “As Jews, we understand that hard times can come, but they can be overcome. We believe the world can recover from the difficult challenges we face now. We believe in the possibility of healing and a better world.

For more information on Hanukkah events around the Tri-Valley, visit www.bethemek.org and www.jewishtrivalley.com.

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