As we approach the upcoming thanksgiving holiday weekend, keep in mind another celebration will commence on Sunday, November 28th: The eight day "Festival Of Lights", Chanukah begins at sunset and continues until Sunday, December 5th. 

This commemorates a second re-dedication of the Jewish temple in the second century B.C. as the Macabees defeated the Greek King Antiochus's troops after a three year conflict between both parties. The amount of light burning during this historic battle signifies why this celebration lasts for one week and one day. Chanukah considered the most important holiday in the Jewish and Hebrew faith.

The celebration also includes consuming an array of fried delicacies and youngsters seem to reap the benefits of receiving one gift for each night Chanukah takes place. Let's not forget the spinning of the driedel which also accents family fun for all ages.

There are some locations in our listening area where you can partake in Chanukah festivities and here are a few suggestions on how can you can enhance your holiday this year. Due to COVID-19, it is advisable to wear masks and social distancing guidelines will be implemented to assure everyone's safety.

A public Menorah lighting will commence on the first night (November 28th) and a closing ceremony will conclude this year's festivities at Dr. Arthur Rosenthal Square on West Main Street in North Adams, Massachusetts. Both events commence at sunset.

The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires on South Street in Pittsfield will present an outdoor Chanukah celebration to close out The Festival of Lights on Sunday, December 5th at 4 pm. The public is invited to attend as this get together truly provides a bond between our Berkshire county communities.

"Chanukah At Night" takes place at The Mount on Pleasant Street in "Lovely Lenox. The free event is scheduled for December 2nd between the hours of 6 and 8 pm.

A Chanukah Bon Fire will be ignited on Saturday, December 4th at 4:30 pm at Congregation Beth Israel located on Lois Street in North Adams. Rabbi Rachel Barenblat will provide some musical accompaniment in keeping the festivities alive prior to the 8th day on Sunday. A sure way to keep warm, if you ask me.

In Great Barrington, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire will also provide a variety of services and events including their Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat Services and Creative Beit Midrash class which releases spiritual and intellectual imagination. For updates on upcoming event, log on to Hevreh's web site.

Across the border, Columbia County's Jewish Community non-profit synagogue in Hudson and The Chatham Synagogue will also bring you some exciting Chanukah based fun for all ages. Check out their Facebook pages by clicking on the red highlights for updates.

South of the border, Connecticut's Chanukah celebrations and menorah lightings will take place in Stamford, Darien, Shelton, Waterbury, New Haven, West Haven, Milford and Stratford.

If we receive more information regarding these community based celebrations, check this article for updates. HAPPY CHANUKAH.

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