The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Hanukkah festivities around the area

Maiya Blumenthal
There is a wide variety of things to do and places to celebrate Hanukkah over the eight days.

While the Jewish Community may feel stuck and alone in a time of terror and crisis, there are still ways to increase a sense of community and joy, especially during the Hanukkah season. Here are eight different Hanukkah events and activities in the D.C. area for families to spend each night of Hanukkah. 

Hanukkah Menorah Lighting

While it’s not the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center in New York City, D.C. has its own event to celebrate Hanukkah. On Dec. 7, join thousands of Jews in the DMV to watch the lighting of the United States National Menorah at the Ellipse park. This event does not just include the lighting of the menorah, but there will also be a musical performance by the military bands of the Military District of Washington, speeches by special guests, including President Joe Biden, and a presentation by this year’s National Menorah Essay Contest winner. Reserve tickets here

Summer House Latkes

From Thursday, Dec. 7 through Friday, Dec. 15 Summer House Santa Monica is selling three different styles of latkes in honor of Hanukkah. Customers can order Smoked Salmon and Chive Cream latkes and may add sturgeon caviar, Classic House Made Latkes topped with house-made apple sauce and sour cream or Braised Leek latkes with grain mustard and red wine shallots. Prices for the latkes have not yet been posted on their website. Check out Summer House’s location at Pike & Rose. 

Hunger Action at the DCJCC

Though Hanukkah is a holiday focused on joy and celebration, it is important to also keep in mind those who cannot celebrate to the same extent as the CESJDS community. Register here to spend the evening of Dec. 13 at the DCJCC preparing and cooking meals for local people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. 

Hanukkah Story Trail and Gelt Drop 

Chabad East DC Jewish Center is hosting a Hanukkah Story Trail and Gelt Drop at Lincoln Park (Lincoln Park Dr NE Washington, DC 20003) on Dec.10 from 4-5 p.m. People of all ages can walk the trail to hear the Hanukkah Story “If the Candles Could Speak,” in addition to live music. After the trail, there will be a “Giant Gelt Drop” from the top of a fire truck. The program will conclude with a Menorah lighting and singing Hanukkah songs. Get tickets for free here

Hanukkah Eight Mile Race or One Mile Run-Walk

On Sunday, Dec. 10, runners and walkers from across the DMV will join together on an eight mile race or one mile run walk along the C&O Canal Towpath. Before the race, there will be coffee, Hanukkiah lighting as well as a recitation of the National Anthem. Afterwards there will be a latke picnic with awards for race winners. Tickets for the one mile run-walk cost $10.00 and for the eight mile race cost $18.00.

Hanukkah Skate Night

The Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District is sponsoring “Lights & Ice” at Canal Park Ice Rink (200 M Street Southeast Washington, DC 20003). Families can celebrate Hanukkah at this event on Dec. 8 from 6 – 8 p.m. and skate around the outdoor menorah. The official lighting of the menorah is at 7 p.m. There are free skate rentals for the first 150 attendees, and the first 100 attendees can get a free Capitol Riverfront mug & hot cocoa kit. The skate night will be accompanied by live music from DJ CiCi, along with free Hanukkah donuts, hot cider, dreidels, glow sticks and gelt. You can register here. Registration is not required but recommended. 

Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins

The typical Hanukkah story that people hear about is the one of Maccabees miraculously beating the Greeks, but at the Puppet Co. in Glen Echo, MD, the story is a little different. Audience members have the opportunity to follow Hershel’s story of overcoming the King and Queen of goblins’ prohibition of Hanukkah candle lighting. This unique show about the eight days of Hanukkah runs from Nov. 30 – Dec. 31, to buy the $15.00 tickets and find more specific information about timing, go to this website.  

Virtual Doughnut Masterclass

Learn how to bake and decorate homemade doughnuts in a virtual session with Pastry Chef Fany Gerson on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 7:30 – 9 p.m. Bring your knowledge back to your family to make Sufganiot for Hanukkah. Gerson is a food entrepreneur known for her inventive doughnut flavors and owner of Fan Fan Doughnuts. You can register here for $25.00, and following registration, you will receive a link for the Zoom session.

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About the Contributors
Maiya Blumenthal, Opinion Editor
Maiya is so excited to continue her work on the Lion’s Tale this year as an opinion editor. She can’t wait to help people share their ideas with the community in this role. Outside of Lion’s Tale, Maiya plays basketball, tennis and piano, and participates in Friendship Circle and the CESJDS Debate Team. Maiya can’t wait to work with the rest of the Lion’s Tale staff to produce interesting and unique content this year.  
Gila Safra, Reporter

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