Jewish Communities Around the World to Host ‘Hanukkah Welcome Weekend’

Hundreds of congregations, Jewish Community Centers (JCC), Federations, schools, camps, independent minyanim, and Jewish organizations around the world plan to celebrate “Hanukkah Homecoming Weekend” from December 3-5 to celebrate welcome to Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

A wide variety of gatherings, from celebrations, services, rituals, meals, festivals, community art projects, concerts, and candle lighting, are available to Jews in their local regions. Meetings are offered in person and online.

“This Hanukkah is a unique time when Jewish communities begin to return to a sense of normalcy right on this festive, community, and family-oriented holiday,” said Dr. Ron Wolfson, professor of education at American Jewish University. and leader of the Hanukkah Welcome Weekend. . “There is something for everyone. Hanukkah Homecoming Weekend events are an opportunity to be a part of something bigger, special, an exciting opportunity to celebrate not only the holiday, but what we have all missed so much: our relationships with each other. message is ‘gather around the light’ and ‘go home’ ”.

Wolfson was originally inspired by “welcome” events: a gathering of members and former members of an organization, such as a school or team. The southern tradition of the late 19th century usually takes place around a central event, such as a banquet or a sports game.

Scenes from the Angelo State Rams vs. Texas A & M – Commerce Lions and the back door of the Homecoming Nov. 2, 2013. (Credit: VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Inspired by Southern tradition, Wolfson began to circulate the idea of ​​marking the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic with a “homecoming” that quickly spread from synagogues to almost every corner of the global Jewish community, with prominent partner organizations eager to open their doors. to anyone looking for a meaningful connection after nearly two years of isolation.

“To quote a favorite song, the invitation was ‘go back to where you belonged,'” jokes Wolfson.

“What an amazing equation to bring together the Jewish community from everywhere in our synagogues and organizing homes for a great homecoming after all this time,” adds Rabbi Elaine Zecher, chief rabbi of Temple Israel, Boston, a participant in the weekend. Hanukkah Homecoming week.

“The opportunity to do this together, around the world, really adds to a beautiful experience of holiness wherever we are.”

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