Sweet start to Chanukah festival

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Mon., Dec. 10, 2012
Some young revelers dance around the menorah at the 'Chanukah in Candyland' celebration at the Chabad East of the River on Dec. 8. Photos by Steve Smith.
Some young revelers dance around the menorah at the 'Chanukah in Candyland' celebration at the Chabad East of the River on Dec. 8. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Benet Rothstien Chabad Jewish Center, also known as the Chabad East of the River, was home to a colorful and fun Chanukah in Candyland celebration on Dec. 8. Rabbi Yusef Wolvovsky said the Candyland theme has been used at other Chabads before, and the centers in Connecticut have even shared the large menorah, made for filling with candy, throughout the celebrations this season. However, this was the first time for that theme at the center in Glastonbury.

“What we try to do each year is something original,” Wolvovsky said, “so that people have a fresh perspective on Chanukah. We’re trying to increase the joy of the children at the festival.”

“The whole idea of Chanukah is bringing light to the darkness,” said Anne Selsky, who frequents the Chabad. “All of these things are meant to be fun. That’s part of the holiday – having fun. It’s a celebration.”

Children (young and old) entered the center via the colored Candyland path, and were able to take part in games and activities with confectionary themes and prizes. After each child had the opportunity to help fill the menorah with candy, Wolvovsky asked them questions about the story of Chanukah, and the first child to answer correctly got to take a turn putting their cup underneath the menorah, where the candy was dispensed.

For the older set, there were latkes and other refreshments, but plenty of adults were seen taking part in the confections, especially the "kosher chocolate swamp," in which marshmallows, licorice and other items could be dipped.

“I think people are very happy tonight,” Wolvovsky said. “They enjoyed the company of their friends, as well as the creativity of it. People enjoyed the booths and all of the interaction; I think it was really a good beginning to a joyous festival.”

The event kicked off several Chanukah celebrations that will be held throughout the week in several area towns. For a complete listing, visit www.chabader.com.


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