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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Early holiday no deterrent

    Rabbi Yosef Winner, co-director of the UA Chabad Jewish Student Center lights up the first light of Hanukkah on Friday afternoon in front of the Chabad house on North Euclid Avenue.
    Rabbi Yosef Winner, co-director of the UA Chabad Jewish Student Center lights up the first light of Hanukkah on Friday afternoon in front of the Chabad house on North Euclid Avenue.

    Many Jewish students on campus will celebrate Hanukkah without their families this year, as the holiday occurs before classes let out for winter break.

    This year, Hanukkah starts tonight at sunset and will last through Dec. 12, with the last menorah candle being lit on Dec. 11.

    Finals, meanwhile, begin Friday and run through Dec. 14.

    “”It’s going to be different,”” said Phyllis Kenigsberg, a Judaic studies sophomore. “”I’m used to having it with my family. I’d rather not have it during finals, but we’re students first.””

    The UA’s Chabad Jewish Student Center will host several events to help students feel the spirit of the holiday, even with the end-of-the-year pressures.

    A lighting-of-the-menorah ceremony will take place this evening on the UA Mall, at 6 p.m. and Chabad will pass out

    Hanukkah kits for students. The kits will include menorahs, the holiday’s nine-branched candelabra, candles and dreidels, said Chabad co-director Rabbi Yossi Winner.

    “”It’s an amazing opportunity to have (Hanukkah) on campus,”” he said.

    The public lighting of a menorah is an international Chabad event and signifies “”a light to the world,”” Winner said. “”That’s really what Hanukkah is all about.””

    The UA Hillel Center, a large Jewish campus organization, is also encouraging students to celebrate the holiday, by hosting a Hanukkah dinner tomorrow at 5:30 p.m, complete with latkes, the traditional potato pancakes.

    Hillel will also host a White Elephant gift exchange on Thursday at 5 p.m. and a large party on Saturday night, which starts at 9:30 p.m.

    “”It’s a really cool event because a lot of people see it,”” said Cara Behneman, program director of Hillel. “”It’s cool to be able to go out and do these things.””

    As the Chabad and Hillel events will make it easier for students to adjust to what is normally a family-oriented holiday, many are looking for ways to make this year’s Hanukkah special.

    Alla Goldman, a political science sophomore, is planning to celebrate with her entire dorm. As president of the Posada San Pedro Residence Hall Council, she hosted an event last night to explain the significance of Hanukkah, its history and how it’s celebrated.

    “”I’m glad I get to share it with my friends,”” Goldman said.

    Teddy Solomon, a pre-business sophomore, doesn’t get to spend the holiday with his family, but he is still expecting gifts this year. He’s hoping for a salt-water fish tank and an assortment of fish.

    Kenigsberg said she has already received a care package with decorations from her mom and is looking forward to the holiday as a chance to take a break from the stresses of finals.

    She is also expecting a few gifts: “”World peace,”” she said, with a laugh. “”And a boyfriend.””

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