Wanting to provide an opportunity for kindergarteners and seniors to come together this holiday season, La Posada and the Mandel Jewish Community Center (JCC) are coordinating a special Hanukkah event on December 18 from 3-4 p.m.
“Seniors delight in sharing stories and traditions with little children, and we feel this event will be incredibly meaningful for all who attend,” said Rick Minichino, wellness director at La Posada. “Events such as this are enriching for both generations and present a great chance for them to learn about and from each other. We are so excited to bring independent living residents to the JCC’s After School Program for an hour of crafting, games, stories and refreshments.”
To start, a La Posada resident will teach the story of Hanukkah. During story time, everyone will enjoy latkes specially prepared by La Posada’s chef. These are a delicious reminder of the Hanukkah story, commemorating the day the Jewish warriors made their way into the desecrated Temple of Jerusalem to remove false idols. In order to give them light, they lit a menorah with a bit of purified olive oil that they found, which was originally supposed to be enough for one evening but lasted for eight nights. This is why people celebrate Hanukkah for eight days and eat oil-fried foods to celebrate. Following the story, students will be able to ask the seniors questions about Hanukkah.
“Next, the seniors will help the students make dreidels out of tissue paper,” said Summer Sweetall, director of the After School Program. “We heard residents of La Posada are really crafty, so we are excited to see what they help the children create. We plan to hang these up in the halls of the JCC so that members can enjoy them and be reminded of the special traditions of Hanukkah. We know the children will delight in showing them to their friends and family as well.”
Following the dreidel crafting, the students and seniors will break into groups to play spin the dreidel and pin the flame on the menorah. After playing games, the group will take turns singing traditional Hanukkah songs for each other.
“To conclude the event, we will set up cookie-decorating stations for everyone to decorate sugar cookies in the shapes of menorahs made by our community’s chef,” said Minichino. “Children love frosting and sprinkles, so we are certain this activity will put a smile on all their faces. The hour will likely fly by while everyone is having fun. We anticipate the exchange of many hugs and smiles and the discussion of when we can make a similar event happen again.”