Chanukah Sparkles with Friendship

Chanukah was buzzing with Friendship Circle activities both at LifeTown and throughout the community. From public menorah lightings and events in the community to winter camp and Family Fun Days at LifeTown, thousands of people took part in a wide variety of Chanukah programs offered this year!

Here’s a quick rundown of the nonstop fun! 

Jewish Heritage Night with the Devils at Prudential Center — Friendship Circle participants and their families were the special guests at the annual Jewish Heritage Night. Beginning with a pre-Chanukah ceremony in front of the hockey-stick menorah, which was crafted by Friendship Circle using game-used hockey sticks from New Jersey Devil players. Throughout the evening, Friendship Circle was highlighted on the jumbo screen as the charity of the night and the spilt-the-pot raffle money raised that evening was donated to the organization.

Menorah Lighting at American Dream – After the Devils game, the hockey-stick menorah moved to the brand-new American Dream at the Meadowlands, and was on display at the rink throughout the eight-day holiday. More than 2,000 people gathered at the ice rink in the American Dream on the last night of Chanukah for a menorah lighting and celebration.

Chanukah Wonderland Mitzvah Mania — 400 people visited LifeTown on Dec. 25 for a Chanukah Wonderland, Mega-Mitzvah Day. Kids participated in an interactive game show in the LifeTown theater, worked on Chanukah crafts, decorated donuts, made Chanukah cookies and much more during the festivities.

Chanukah Shabbat Dinner — The candle lights of Shabbat glittered alongside the lights of the Chanukah menorah as 180 people gathered at LifeTown for a special gourmet Shabbat Chanukah, Friday-night dinner. There was plenty of good food, good conversation and holiday excitement.

Allie’s Winter Camp — 60 kids, teens and young adults participated in the annual winter camp fun. They were joined by 150 teen and adult volunteers who shared their vacation time to ensure that everyone enjoyed their camp experience, which included arts and crafts, sports, games, cooking and more.

Family Fun Day –150 families from across the region took time out from their holiday schedules to gather with their families for crafts, sports and downtime at LifeTown. 

Olive Oil Workshops — The ins and outs of making olive oil and its significance to the holiday of Chanukah were on display during the nearly 30 hands-on, interactive Olive Press Workshops held throughout the region in the run-up to Chanukah. Hundreds of children got to try their hand at making olive oil and learning just why we light the menorah for eight nights. 

Public Menorah Lightings — Dozens of people inaugurated the second night of Chanukah during a menorah lighting at the Livingston Mall and Livingston Town Center. During these annual holiday events, shoppers enjoyed holiday music and sufganiyot, jelly donuts. Public menorah lightings were also held at CareOne and Brandywine Living all in Livingston, and Arbor Terrace in Roseland.

Dreidel display – Visitors to the Livingston Mall and LifeTown recalled the story of Chanukah through an old-fashioned, holiday-window display nestled within the walls of a giant dreidel. 

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