Dahlia Ardizzone, left, and Sarah Kadmon were some of the teens helping during the evening. /Fran OstendorfDahlia Ardizzone, left, and Sarah Kadmon were some of the teens helping during the evening. /Fran OstendorfIt was truly a night of Jewish renaissance for the more than 400 people who filled the Dwares JCC in Providence Nov. 14. The event featured a wide range of sessions from wine tasting and card making; from an Israeli martial arts demonstration to a panel on medical ethics; and from a discussion on Jewish burial rituals to social entrepreneurship in Israel.


JERUSALEM (JTA) – There is nothing cuter than my 5-year old daughter coming home from kindergarten with an overly decorated menorah in hand singing “Ner li Ner li, ner li dakik,” the Israeli version of “This Little Light of Mine.” The song speaks about the little candle, so thin, small and all hers to light.

Personalizing the holiday for kids is just good pedagogy. Through song, play and creative arts, early childhood educators get these little Maccabees to embody the holiday and feel they have the power to create and even embody the light of Hanukkah.

JTA – Sharing blessings, friendship and welcoming guests are among the themes that illuminate a new crop of Hanukkah books for children. The eight-day Festival of Lights begins this year with the first candle lighting on Sunday evening, Dec. 6.

Some acclaimed children’s writers and illustrators serve up a sparkling array of lively and inspiring stories that will take readers from the streets of New York City to a moshav in Israel and even into the kitchen to cook up some Hanukkah fun.

Food, fun and family at HanukkahFood, fun and family at HanukkahNEW YORK (Kveller via JTA) – Growing up, ours was the only house on the block with a menorah glowing in the window. This should have put me onto the fast track to Christmas envy, but it didn’t. I respected Christmas, but was never jealous of those who celebrated. In fact, watching my neighbors actually gave me a deeper appreciation for the simpler joys of Hanukkah. Here’s why:

Early-bird shopping

Celebrating Hanukkah means I usually have an earlier gift-buying deadline to meet than my counterparts. I have to get myself in gear way before Christmas shopping madness descends on the rest of the world. By Thanksgiving, I’m usually done. I spend most Black Fridays sipping spiced cider and recovering from a turkey-induced coma. Being Jewish means never having to freeze my tuchis off in a parking lot waiting for a “Midnight Door Buster” sale.

Janet AtkinsJanet AtkinsThe Jewish Federation Foundation’s Professional Advisory Council (PAC) held its second breakfast event on Nov. 17, featuring Janet Atkins, CEO of Ridgeway Philanthropy of Boston. Atkins shared facts about women’s worldwide investments, current economic trends related to their money and how women opt to invest and spend.  She noted that women have made great strides and predicted that because women outlive men by five years, 80-90 percent of women will be in charge of their families’ financial affairs at some time in their lives.