(New York Jewish Week) — Hanukkah 2022 is just days away — the eight-day holiday begins Sunday, Dec. 18 and concludes the evening of Sunday, Dec. 25.
If you’re looking to celebrate the Festival of Lights beyond the annual family Hanukkah party, you’re in luck: In this great and very Jewish city of ours, there are enough Hanukkah-themed events to keep you busy the entire holiday.
We’ve put together a packed schedule of celebration for every night of the holiday — whether you’re looking for a candle-lighting ceremony, a concert or a comedy show, there’s something for everybody. If you’re not in New York or can’t make it out, be sure to check The Hub for an updated list of virtual classes, events and celebrations going on throughout the week.
Here’s our guide to eight crazy nights in NYC:
Sunday, Dec. 18
See the newest Jewish adaptation of “A Christmas Carol”
“A Hanukkah Carol, or GELT TRIP! The Musical” is a new musical that puts a Jewish spin on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The plot centers around Chava Kanipshin, a cruel and manipulative social media influencer who hides her Jewish identity because she was bullied as a child. But on one memorable Hanukkah, Chava is visited by spirits of the past, present and future to reckon with her life before it is too late. On the first night of Hanukkah, songs and scenes from the show will be performed in a live concert. Buy tickets for the in-person or livestream show on at 7:00 p.m. here. ($15-$50)
Celebrate with Hanukkah songs and Hebrew music
Conducted by Matthew Lazar, Zamir, one of New York’s preeminent Jewish choirs, is performing on the first night of Hanukkah. Zamir Chorale, the Hebrew-singing choir, and Zamir Noded, the young adults choir, will both sing at the Kaufman Music Center (129 W. 67th St.). The concert will also celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday. Buy tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert here. ($40)
Watch the lighting of Brooklyn’s largest menorah at Grand Army Plaza
At Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, Chabad of Park Slope will host their annual Hanukkah Kickoff party and concert on the first night of Hanukkah. Beginning at 4:00 p.m., the party will feature a live performance by the band Zusha, as well as latkes and gifts. The largest menorah in Brooklyn will be lit at 5:00 p.m., with nightly lighting to follow. Find more Chabad events and menorah lightings here. (Free)
Get the band together for klezmer in the park
The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music will host a Klezmer Hanukkah Celebration and jam session at the Old Stone House in Prospect Park. Led by Ira Temple, the klezmer session will be open to the public. The celebration, which will include a menorah lighting, will take place from 3:00-4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of Dec. 18. RSVP here. (Free)
Monday, Dec. 19
Skate the night away
The 15th Annual Chanukah on Ice at Wollman Rink in Central Park will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the second night of Hanukkah. The event will feature live entertainment, kosher food and the lighting of a giant ice menorah. Buy tickets and find more information here. ($28-$35)
Show your Jewish pride: Shine a Light on Antisemitism in Times Square
Shine a Light on Antisemitism will host its second annual concert and gathering in Times Square from 5:00-6:30 p.m. The event, emceed by comedian Ariel Elias, will include a public menorah lighting and is meant as a public display of Jewish pride amidst rising antisemitism. Other performers include Nissim Black, The Moshav Band, David Herkowitz formerly of the Miami Boys Choir, The Ramaz Upper School Choir and the cast of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.” The event is co-sponsored by UJA-Federation, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee. Find more information here. (Free)
Tuesday, Dec. 20
Grab a specialty cocktail at the Maccabee Bar
Taking over the cocktail bar Ollie in the West Village, a Hanukkah-themed pop-up bar is headed to NYC this year. Serving unique cocktails like a Latke Sour and an Ethiopian-inspired mule alongside latkes and other Hanukkah foods, the Maccabee Bar will be open from Dec. 13 through Dec. 31. Check the website for reservations and updated hours, and read our interview with bartender and creator Naomi Levy here. (drinks $10-$16)
Menorah lighting and party in Brooklyn
Dirah, a “spiritual start-up” Chabad initiative that offers Jewish experiences for people of all affiliations and backgrounds, will host a community menorah lighting, live music and latkes at Carroll Park (291 President St.) in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn at 5:30 p.m. There will also be a fire juggling show to celebrate the festival of lights. RSVP here. (Free)
Wednesday, Dec. 21
Stand-up comedy at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is presenting “Oy Gevalt Comedy,” hosted by Ashley Austin Morris, featuring a performance by stand-up comedian Lenny Marcus. The in-person show is on Dec. 21 at 7:00 p.m. Buy tickets here and check the JCC’s other Hanukkah offerings here, including several Hanukkah parties and nightly candle-lighting. ($10)
Thursday, Dec. 22
Join Hey Alma for a comedy showcase on the Lower East Side
Hey Alma’s Evelyn Frick will host “Get Lit, Bitch: A Hanukkah Comedy Show,” a live stand-up comedy showcase at Caveat NYC (21A Clinton St.) on the Lower East Side. The show, open to those 21 and over, begins at 7:00 pm. Featuring Jared Goldstein (Comedy Central), Benny Feldman (Just for Laughs), Sami Schwaeber (NY Comedy Festival) and Jenny Gorelick (Comedy Central). Buy tickets here for livestream or in person. ($10-$15)
Laugh and sing along at the Chanukahstravaganza in Brooklyn
Comedians Lana Schwartz and Illana Michelle Rubin host “The Sixth Annual Chanukahstravaganza!”, a standup comedy showcase at Littlefield NYC (635 Sackett St.) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Performers include Brandon Follick, Jess Salomon, Alon Elian, Rebecca Weiser, Charlie Bardey and Anna Suzuki. The show, open to those 21 and older, runs from 8:00-10:30 p.m.. Buy tickets here. ($12)
Friday, Dec. 23
Rock out with Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo is back this year with their annual run of Hanukkah concerts. Playing every night of Hanukkah at The Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey St.) on the Lower East Side, the indie rock trio is known for bringing out surprise guests during their Hanukkah performances. Buy tickets before they sell out! ($50)
Indulge in all the fried foods
Yes, latkes are delicious — but why not try something different this Festival of Lights? Head out on a self-guided food tour and feast on Hanukkah treats at one of the many bakeries serving up Hanukkah-themed desserts across the city, including Balaboosta, Edith’s and Breads Bakery. Check out the New York Jewish Week’s guide to get started.
Saturday, Dec. 24
Party all night long at the Matzoball…
Christmas Eve falls on the seventh night of Hanukkah this year, which should make Matzoball, the iconic Jewish Christmas Eve bash, even more fun. This year at Harbor NYC (621 West 46th St.), Matzoball has long been the place for Jewish singles to connect and party the night away. Buy tickets here. ($50)
… or with The Streicker Center at TAO Downtown
For another Christmas Eve option, check out “The Night Before Christmas” holiday party hosted by The Streicker Outreach Center at Temple Emanu-El as part of their initiative to reach Jewish young professionals. A ticket to the party at TAO Downtown (92 9th Ave.) in the Meatpacking District includes an all-you-can-eat Asian food dinner, an open bar and dancing. DJed by Ann Streichman and Kosha Dillz. Buy tickets here. ($48)
Sunday, Dec. 25
Carry on the tradition at “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish”
Running at the New World Stages (340 West 50th St.) for only seven weeks, the return of “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” is already nearing its end. The cast will be performing a matinee and evening performance on the last night of Hanukkah, and the show is the perfect way to get into the spirit of “Tradition!” Buy tickets and find showtimes here. (Tickets starting at $87)
Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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