WOODBURY — On Dec. 25 Jews from all over Northwest Connecticut are invited to converge on the Woodbury Ski area to celebrate the fifth night of Hanukkah at the Hanukkah on the Slopes.
The event will be from 12:30-5:30 p.m. and will include enjoy skiing, tubing, snow-boarding, a giant ice menorah lighting, Jewish music, Hanukkah movies, entertainers, kosher food, Hanukkah crafts for kids, and Judah Macabee (the Hanukkah Hero) and distributing of Hanukkah gifts.
Every year at this time, the decorations go up, the Santa’s come out, and the presents are bought. The Christmas season begins and for many Jews the “December dilemma” arrives: How do you retain your and your children’s unique Jewish identity in the pervasive Holiday season, said Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach of Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest Connecticut. For others it is hard to escape the feeling of exclusion from a national holiday that is fundamentally Christian, he said.
Eisenbach says that on Christmas itself the issues become more practical. What to do while the rest of the world is celebrating a holiday that you don’t? Where to go if all the stores are closed? Some people decide on the movies, or eat out in Chinese restaurants, while others may hibernate at home.
Hanukkah on the slopes, Eisenbach said, is a fun alternative.
“The fact that Hanukkah and Christmas coincide this year gives us an opportunity to reach many more people and at the same time perform a valuable service for the entire community” said Eisenbach. “The essence of Chanukah is public displays of Jewish pride and dedication to our heritage.” says Rabbi Eisenbach “What better way to accomplish this than a huge Chanukah event at Woodbury Ski area.”