A mom on Twitter asked me the other day if there were any Hanukkah events in the area. And indeed, there are.
- The Chabad Center of Raleigh has opened a Hanukkah Store at 1410 Falls of Neuse Rd. in Raleigh. It's open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 10. You'll find Hanukkah toys, chocolate and more.
- The Chabad Center also is leading the daily lighting of candles on the menorah at Raleigh's Crabtree Valley Mall on the upper level near Sears. Bring a canned good at 5 p.m. Dec. 1 to help with the construction of a menorah made of canned goods. The grand lighting will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 1. Dreidels, donughts, crafts and juggling will be part of the festivities. Menorah lightings will follow each day at 5 p.m. Dec. 2; 3:30 p.m. Dec. 3; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4; and 5 p.m. Dec. 5 through Dec. 8. The cans will then be donated to a food bank.
- And the Chabad Center of Raleigh will host a Hanukkah Celebration from 4:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 3. The menorah lighting starts at 4:45 p.m., followed by a Friday night service and a meal at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 per family. Seating is limited. A children's program is available. Call 919-847-8986 for reservations.
- Temple Beth Or Preschool will hold a Hanukkah Open House from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 3. Learn more about the five star preschool, entertain your kids in the interactive Hanukkah room, enjoy light refreshments and meet other parents. Applications are being accepted now for spring 2011. The preschool is at 5315 Creedmoor Rd. in Raleigh.
- Quail Ridge Books & Music on Wade Avenue in Raleigh will hold a family Hanukkah concert featuring Mishpacha. The free event at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4 is a Quail Ridge tradition and features a rousing afternoon of music. (And keep reading for some Hanukkah book recommendations from Quail Ridge).
- Beth El Congregation, 1004 Watts St., Durham, will hold the second annual Hanukkah Hootenanny & Havdalah, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets are $5 per person and $15 per family. For all ages.
- The first lighting of a public menorah in Cary is on Dec. 5. It all starts at 3 p.m. with a story hour at Banes & Noble at 760 SE Maynard Rd. in Cary. Rebbetzin Leah Herman of the Chabad of Cary Learning Center will tell a Jewish story followed by a juggling performance by Rabbi Aaron Herman (who I'm told is very talented). Dreidels and chocolate coins will be distributed. At 4 p.m., everybody will head over to Cary Town Center for a Hanukkah Celebration and the lighting of Cary's first public menorah. The event includes holiday songs, crafts, a dance machine with Hanukkah songs, traditional holiday food and the lighting of the nine-foot menorah at 5 p.m.
- The Jewish Community Center will hold a Hanukkah Bowl-A-Thon from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5 at The Alley on Hillsborough St. in Raleigh, across from N.C. State University. The event includes bowling, candle lighting, latkes and more. It raises money for the Camp JCC Scholarship Fund.
And as I mentioned, Quail Ridge suggested three books that explain the celebration and its symbols to young children. They are:
- Ellen Kushner's "The Golden Dreydl," in which a gift sets the main character on a fantasy Hanukkah adventure. For ages 8 and up
- Eric Kimmel's "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins," a Caldecott Honor-winning classic that tells the story of Hershel as he outwits goblins to save Hanukkah. For ages 5 and up
- And "Jackie's Gift," by Sharon Robinson, who tells the true story of an unforgettable Christmas-Hanukkah growing up with her dad, Jackie Robinson. For ages 4 and up.