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Local events celebrating Chanukah

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GLASTONBURY — This year, the festival of Chanukah began on Tuesday evening, December 16.

The Chabad Jewish Center is holding events across the state throughout the eight nights.

“When it comes to Chanukah, we aim to simply spread the joy,” Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky, Executive Director of Chabadsays.  “We want to allow as many people as possible to celebrate together.”

Night 3 (December 18): Colchester, Farmington, Mansfield, Norwich

5:30 p.m. –  Rabbi Avrohom Sternberg will lead a special celebration in Norwich.  Held at the Chelsea Parkade Green, the event will be hosted by Chabad of Eastern Connecticut.

6 p.m. – A Giant Menorah Lighting will take place on the Colchester Town Green at the corner of Main Street and Norwich Avenue.

6 p.m. – Chabad of the Valley will host a festive event on the Farmington Town Green.

6:30 p.m. – Rabbi Shlomo Hecht of Chabad in Storrs will lead a community Chanukah celebration at the Eastbrook Mall in Mansfield.

Night 6 (December 21): Simsbury, Tolland, West Hartford

4 p.m. – In West Hartford, the region’s largest Chanukah event will be held at Blue Back Square.  Dubbed “Fire on Ice,” the evening will highlight the carving of a giant ice Menorah and the construction of a huge light-up “Dreidle!”

4 p.m. – A communal Chanukah celebration will take place on the Tolland Town Green (across from Town Hall).

5 p.m. – Chabad of the Valley will host a Grand Chanukah Party at their Center — 141 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury.  (There is a charge for dinner).

 Night 7 (December 22): Ellington, New London

4:30 p.m. – A special program for children will take place at Congregation Ahavath Chesed in New London, located at 590 Montauk Avenue.

6 p.m. – Arbor Park in Ellington is the site for the celebration.  Representative Christopher Davis is scheduled to take part in the Ellington event.

Night 8 (December 23): Middletown

6 p.m. – A special celebration will be held Middletown, taking place at Union Park (also known as South Green).

While Chanukah is a Jewish holiday, Wolvovsky emphasizes that the festival carries a universal message.  “The menorah is a symbol religious freedom,” he says.  “It reinforces the idea that a bit of light and goodness can brighten the entire world.”

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