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Mazel tot! Ridge Hanukkah celebration focuses on kids • Brooklyn Paper

Mazel tot! Ridge Hanukkah celebration focuses on kids

A sweet tradition: Arabella Neff and Jeff Ratner enjoy a traditional Hanukkah doughnut at the menorah-lighting ceremony at Bay Ridge Jewish Center.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Bay Ridge Jewish Center’s Hanukkah celebration was all about the bubelehs.

Kids got to light their own menorahs and play dreidel all night on Dec. 6, but the most popular part of the celebration was, of course, all the oil-fried doughnuts and potato latkes they got to eat, said the center’s president.

“Kids were decorating the doughnuts with blue and white frosting and sprinkles,” said Candi Friedman. “Then of course stuffed them in their mouths! They had a great time with it.”

The holiday celebrates the biblical Jews regaining control of Jerusalem and rededicating the Temple there. The more-than week-long holiday also marks a miracle in which the victorious Jews were able to keep a menorah burning for eight days on one day’s worth of oil. As a result, foods fried in oil, particularly latkes and doughnuts, are traditional fare during the celebration.

Kids also did some arts and crafts and put together care packages for military service members stationed at Fort Hamilton, where the center held another Hanukkah celebration on Dec. 8.

The center provided each child with a menorah, and kids got to light the first candle with help from parents.

Two of the center’s Hebrew school teachers played live jazz on the upright bass and clarinet for part of the night and the center had a “Hanukkah boutique” where they could buy menorahs and other goods, including “nice glass plates to hold all those latkes, doughnuts, and candles,” according to Friedman.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel: Jake Serta and Bernie Celentano spin the dreidel at the lighting of the menorah on Dec. 6.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

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