Dell Jewish Community Center hosts Hanukkah celebration

The Jewish community is raising awareness about antisemitism this month through Project Menorah. The movement encourages community members to place a menorah in their window during Hannukah as a show of support.

"We are getting ready for Hanukkah, which starts Thursday night. So they are going to do a little Hanukkah bingo, getting everybody ready for the holiday," says Shalom Austin Chief Learning and Engagement officer Rachel Stern.

The Dell Jewish Community Center hosted a celebration with music, food, friends and family in honor of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. It starts on Thursday, Dec. 8 and ends on Friday, Dec. 15.

"A lot of people want to spend Hanukkah with the community, they don't get an opportunity to, so the Dell JCC provides that experience for them," says Dell JCC Member Experience Director, Elie Allen.

"We are going to light some candles in the evening, do some memory games, and play bingo about Hannukah with the kids just celebrating and singing songs about Hanukkah," says Yarden Bliecher of Shinshinim with Shalom Austin.

For the month of December, Project Menorah, a grassroot movement, encourages community members to place a menorah in their windows in support of Jewish friends and neighbors. Paper copies are available on the website for those that do not have a menorah.

"We are picturing it lasting through Hannukah, but if anybody wants to have it up there with any religious symbols or holidays, they are celebrating a little extra care and comfort and support is certainly welcome," says Rachel Stern.

"Something special about this holiday is the community is really coming together even in those hard times, you can really see the cozy family feeling in the community, everyone is putting the conflicts aside and just focusing on celebrating the holiday together," says Oren Shay of Shinshinim with Shalom Austin.

"During the holiday known as Festival of Lights, eight candles are lit over the course of eight nights," says Rachel Stern. "We have a lighter candle in the middle of this. The symbol, the ritual object that we bring out to celebrate Hanukkah, we remember a time when the Jewish people were under attack, and we had survival perseverance, so every year we kind of revisit that."

Donuts are a staple during Hanukkah, traditionally eaten during the holiday.

"The lighting of the Hanukkah was actually with oil, so we eat greasy foods, things cooked in oil to remind us of that moment," says Rachel Stern.

"You have to eat like each donut every day, until you become a human donut eventually," says Oren Shay.