Chanukah Highlights in Western MA, 2012

Chanukah Celebrations & Performances

The National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst hosts a Chanukah celebration for all ages on Sunday, Dec. 9th from 10am – 4pm. The day’s events include The Magic Dreidel, a theatrical and musical presentation of the story of Chanukah by the nationally touring Grumbling Gryphons. Also featured are hands-on music, dance and art workshops prior to the performance.

Celebrate and learn about Chanukah with the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst!  On Sunday, December 9th, the Center is hosting a day full of music, dance, theater, and art, all centered around teaching and learning about the story of Chanukah and the traditions that accompany the holiday.  The most exciting part of the event, however, is that participants in the day’s workshops will learn songs, dances, and maybe even some lines and will be able to participate in a performance of The Magic Dreidel later in the day!  The show, directed by Leslie Evans, features a live Klezmer band and, while it includes a full cast of professional actors, will be performed as a collaborative community show with lots of audience participation.

Kids ages 3-7 can take part in a workshop (from 12:30-1:30pm) on music and dance which will teach them basic songs and accompanying dance steps,  while kids ages 8+ (and grown-ups, too!) will learn lines and stage choreography (from 12noon-1:30pm).

The curtain rises at 2pm, and visitors wishing to be audience members rather than participants are more than welcome!  Families of all backgrounds are welcome at the Yiddish Book Center, and the event can serve as a celebration for Chanukah or a family exploration of Jewish history and traditions.  For more information, contact the Yiddish Book Center at 413-256 4900 or visit  ($)

Other Chanukah Highlights in Western MA:

Saturday, Dec. 8th

Recording artist Mama Doni will be the guest DJ for a “Heart of Chanukah” radio rebroadcast of Hilltown Family Variety Show on Northampton radio station WXOJ-LP 103.3FM (Valley Free Radio) from 9-10am. Encore airs on Sunday, Dec. 9th from 7-8am. Podcast available at immediately following Saturday’s broadcast.

Celebrate Hannukah at Temple Israel! Starting at 6:30pm, the Temple will host a community celebrate with latkes, dreidel-playing, donuts, games, and songs.  All are welcome – bring a menorah to light if you wish.  27 Pierce Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, Dec. 9th

Felicia Sloin, a Jewish “Entertain-ucator” uses music, percussion, and movement to engage all ages in a celebration of Jewish holidays and culture.  She will be giving two performances with puppeteer Kate Holdsworth joining her.  The first performance will the at 11:30am at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire (270 State Road) in Great Barrington.  The second performance will be at 3pm at the Berkshire Mall Macy’s Court (Old State Road) in Lanesboro.  (FREE)

The Congregational B’Nai Israel is celebrating Hannukah from 4-6pm with an all-ages community event!  There will be a bonfire (and fire dancing!), live music, latkes, candles, and more.  Families can extend their celebrations of the holiday, or learn about Jewish traditions.  253 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

LYA hosts Chanuka Wonderland from 11am-2pm, an afternoon filled with Chanukah activities and crafts.  There will be face painting and interactive Chanukah games. The program will end with the Magic of Joe Bongio.   Chanukah Wonderland is sponsored by Beis Medrash Lubavitch and is open to the entire community. 413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, Dec. 10th

LYA hosts a celebration for Hannukah from 5:30-7:30pm.  The event includes dinner (featuring latkes and donuts, of course!), a menorah lighting, a performance by the LYA choir, and – as a special event! – a visit from Bubble Trouble with Jeff Boyer!  Reservations suggested.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($)

Wednesday, Dec. 12th

The Jewish Community of Amherst celebrates Hannukah from 5-7:30pm with a community party!  There will be live music, holiday food, games, and a celebration of light for all.  BYO candles and menorah if you have one.  742 Main Street.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

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