Jewish Congregation to host Festival of Lights celebration on Dec. 29

Published on Friday, 13 December 2019 18:33
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BRISTOL – On Sunday, Dec. 29, the greater Plainville/Southington/Bristol Jewish community is invited to celebrate the festival of Chanukah with music, food and candle lighting. Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation will host the event at a member’s home in Bristol beginning at 5 p.m.

Chanukah is known as the Festival of Lights and is a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar. It commemorates the Jewish victory against the Syrian Army in 160 BCE. When the Jews were able to return to Jerusalem to re-light the eternal lamp in the Temple, only enough oil for one day’s light was found. The miracle celebrated at Chanukah, is the story that the oil continued burning for eight days, enough time to obtain more oil.

Potato pancakes and sufiganyot (doughnuts) are traditional parts of the Chanukah meal since they are fried and are a reminder of the miracle of the oil. The holiday celebration continues with singing and games including “dreidel”. The dreidel is a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The Hebrew letters stand for “A Great Miracle Happened There”.

Rabbi Alana Wasserman, the congregation’s spiritual leader, will chant the traditional prayers and lead singing at the party. Those attending are encouraged to bring their Chanukiyot, candleholders which have room for a candle for each night of the holiday, plus a “servant” candle which lights the others.

Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation is part of the Reform movement. Services are held in the chapel at the First Congregational Church of Southington. More information about religious services and community activities can be found at or on their Facebook page,

For the location and directions or to RSVP, call 860.276.9113 or email:

-    Laura Minor

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, 13 December 2019 18:33. Updated: Friday, 13 December 2019 18:35.