Behind the Scenes: Hanukkah 2012

December 3, 2012

By Sarah Ruiz, Family & Children's Center Director and Rabbi Shari Shamah, Jewish Family Specialist

On Monday, December 10th the JCC will house the annual Community Wide Hanukkah Celebration.  From 4-6:30pm the doors will open for hundreds of children and families to play, drum, explore, learn and celebrate Hanukkah. 

A behind the scenes look at some of things you'll see this year.  Every child that participates receives an activity card that helps teach the themes of Hanukkah and where in the building you can go to find that activity.  Complete the project and earn your "Hanukkah flame."  When the whole card is full, kids can turn it in for a prize.  As you walk through the building be sure to notice that each of the areas has been decorated by a different JCC department.  Hanukkah here is truly fun for the whole agency.

We move from decorations to food where Jonah and CAFABDATA are preparing hotdogs, sufganiyot, latkes and more.  Looking to eat dreidels?  Head to Camp Interlaken's booth where you can make your own edible dreidel. 

Do you know how many candles are on the Hanukkah menorah?  Find one of the JCC staff members who are wearing a Menorah hat on their heads.

Enough about the JCC staff, what makes this event so special is how many synagogues and agencies come together.  For example, Lake Park Synagogue has been a huge draw with their worm races.  Congregation Beth Israel and MJDS  have  activities planned and run by their students.  The shin shins  and the Israel Resource Center have cool strength activities... mostly because we won't let them set things on fire anymore.  Looking to go to camp this summer, One Happy Camper will be here with fun "campy" Hanukkah projects.  We're also looking forward to seeing what our Jewish preschools have in store.   Be sure to visit Mequon Jewish Preschool and Gan Ami's age appropriate activities.  See below for a list of all the participating organizations... we know you want to find yours on the list!

As if that wasn't enough, look for drum circles, a chance to make animals for Noah's Ark, and even a staff dressed up as a dreidel. 

If you are an older kid who is thinking you've passed the age for Hanukkah - think again.  This year, kids ages 9-12 can compete in the Hanukkah 8k.  A "tough mudder" inspired fun run and obstacle course.  Don't worry; it's not really 5 miles...

And don't forget to bring your new, unwrapped gift to donate to Children's Hospital.  Last year we filled a mini-van with toys and can't wait to do the same again this year.

See you at the Community Wide Hanukkah Celebration!

And here's the list:

Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid; MUSY; Congregation Shalom; Lake Park Synagogue; Congregation Emanu El B'ne Jeshurun;  Milwaukee Jewish Day School; Camp Interlaken JCC; Gan Ami and Gan Ami Mequon; Israel Resource Center; Tikkun Ha'Ir; Jody Hirsh - Las Vegas Dreidel;  JCC Health Recreation and Fitness; Milwaukee Jewish Federation; PJ Library; MJP-Mequon Jewish Preschool.