A large crowd enjoyed a special Hanukkah singing presentation and children enjoyed storytelling at the annual Hanukkah Celebration at Barnes and Noble Booksellers. This free event is now in its 18th year.
“The crowd gets bigger and bigger every year,” said Claudette Kirk, property manager for DESCO Group who hosted this event. The merchants at Schnucks Ladue Crossing sponsored the celebration.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday. It begins the evening of December 20th this year and is an eight-day celebration of the Festival of the Lights. Jewish people light a special menorah for eight days.The first night one candle is lit. Then two on the second night and each consecutive night one more candle is lit until all eight are lit.
The Hanukkah Celebration featured students from the H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy Choir which was led by Rabbi Daniel Morris. Traditional Hanukkah songs were sung. The crowd clapped along as the children sang festive songs. Everyone got his moment of glory as a special solo part was reserved for each student.
Prior to the singing presentation, Jackie Oppenheimer, a teacher at Epstein, told Hanukkah stories to the children. Following the singing, the children enjoyed another story told by Rabbi Daniel Morris.
“It is the oldest Hanukkah celebration open to the public. The entire Jewish Community is invited also,” said Kirk.
John and Jenny Humpreys are not Jewish, but they saw the announcement about the celebration and thought it to be interesting.
"We just wanted to come see what it was all about," said Jenny Humphreys. "We thought it would be interesting." She said she and her husband John enjoyed the celebration as did their baby Ivey.
Kirk presented H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy with a monetary donation from the DESCO Group. Rabbi Daniel Morris accepted the gift on behalf of the school.
As families exited the celebration, children were given a free gift of a coloring book, a chocolate gelt and a draddle. A gelt is a gold coin. A draddle, a Jewish toy, is a top that spins on a hard surface.