(November 17, 2021 / JNS) As people emerge from the pandemic eager for community experiences, hundreds of synagogues, congregations, Jewish Community Centers, Federations, schools, camps, independent minyans and Jewish organizations are arranging gatherings this Hanukkah to mark a worldwide rededication of relational communities.
The eight-day holiday takes starts on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 28, and lasts through the evening of Monday, Dec. 6.
Under the banner, Hanukkah Homecoming Weekend, events around the world will be held onsite and online from Dec. 3-5, inviting those engaged and those not-yet-engaged to connect with the community and each other.
“This Hanukkah is such a unique moment as Jewish communities begin returning to a sense of normalcy right at this festive, communal and family-oriented holiday,” says Ron Wolfson, Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University, who is leading the initiative. “The events are an opportunity to be a part of something greater, special—an exciting opportunity to celebrate not simply the holiday, but what we have all missed so much—our relationships with each other.”
Activities include services, rituals, meals, festivals, community art projects, concerts and candle-lightings.
“What an awesome equation to bring together the Jewish community from all over into our synagogues and organizational homes for a grand homecoming after all this time,” says Rabbi Elaine Zecher, senior rabbi of Temple Israel in Boston, a participant in Hanukkah Homecoming Weekend. “The opportunity to do this together, across the world, truly adds up to a beautiful experience of holiness wherever we find ourselves.”
Adds Wolfson: “The message is ‘reunite around the light’ and ‘come home.’ ”
Organized by the Kripke Institute’s Center for Relational Judaism, the initiative is supported by a JCRIF grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and the Maimonides Fund.
Organizations are invited to join the Hanukkah Homecoming network by registering here.
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