Chabad of Venice will host their annual Chanukah Klezmer Festival on Dec. 29 at Centennial Park in downtown Venice.
This year’s Chanukah event features a live performance from the Freylekh Klezmer band, a presentation from Chabad’s Hebrew school students, a dreidel house and a 10 foot Lego menorah build by the children. Traditional Chanukah foods — latkes, doughnuts and matzah ball soup —will be served.
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, began on the evening of Dec. 22 and concludes the evening of Dec. 30. The festival of Chanukah commemorates the second century BCE Jewish victory over the oppressive Hellenistic regime and the miracles that took place as the Jerusalem Temple was restored. Upon returning to the Temple the Maccabees — a name given to the Jewish “freedom fighters” — found only one flask of untainted olive oil with which to light the menorah, yet, miraculously, this one flask lasted for eight entire days. A menorah is lit for eight nights commemorating the miracle and tradition has become to eat “oily” foods throughout the festival.
Chanukah will also be celebrated at 5 p.m. Dec 26 at Warm Mineral Springs, 12200 San Servando Ave., North Port.
“The Chanukah, story is about freedom from religious oppression,” Schmerling says. “This is a great time for the community to come together, to celebrate the freedom and opportunities this country has presented us with.”