Eric Woodward, BEKI’s rabbi, will lead “A Rabbi’s Reflections on Christmas and Hanukkah,” a conversation for interfaith families on Sunday, December 12 at 11 am. Raised in an interfaith and mixed-race family in Los Angeles, Rabbi Woodward explains, “I know what it’s like to feel on the margins.” While his mother is an Ashkenazic Jew, his father was raised Catholic by his mother, who immigrated from Oaxaca, Mexico. Bring questions or ideas about how to navigate the winter holidays. This will be a safe space for discussing the joys and difficulties of interfaith family life.
Book and Gift Fair
BEKI’s lobby will become a pre-Hanukkah shopping fair on Sunday, November 21 from 10 am to 12:30 pm. A wide array of books for adults and children will be available as well as jewelry, toys, games, ritual items, and novelty items from the gift shop.
On Sunday, November 21 at 11 am, Mark Oppenheimer will speak about his latest book, Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood. Rather than focusing on the shooting itself, his book instead explores the struggles and triumphs of the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Oppenheimer is the author of five books, the director of the Yale Journalism Initiative, and a host of the podcast Unorthodox. Autographed copies of books by BEKI authors like Oppenheimer will be available for purchase that day.
The community is invited to the menorah lighting in the BEKI lobby every evening (except Shabbat) at 5:30 pm, starting Sunday, November 28.
BEKI will celebrate Hanukkah with PJ Library on Wednesday, December 1, the 4th Night of Hanukkah. The program starts with a Hanukkah story read-aloud at 4 pm at Mitchell Library, then comes across the street to BEKI at 5:15 pm for crafts, menorah lighting, and a singalong, ending at 6:15 pm. Every child will receive a Hanukkah goody bag. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the 7th Night, BEKI is holding a Hanukkah singalong. Festivities start at 7 pm on Saturday, December 4 with havdalah and menorah lighting, followed by Hanukkah songs around the courtyard campfire. Song sheets will include both old favorites and new tunes. In case of rain, the event will move inside.
Party for Youth
Jewish teens and tweens are invited to BEKI on Sunday, December 5 at 4 pm for a joint party of the Kadima and USY youth groups. They will be frying latkes, holding a dreidel tournament, making cards for people who need their days brightened, and more. RSVP to BEKI’s Youth and Family Programming Director Annie Norman-Schiff at email@example.com.
During the week of Hanukkah, donate clean, gently worn men’s winter coats, sweatshirts, sweaters, scarves, winter hats, mittens, and gloves to support DESK, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, in New Haven. Collection boxes will be in the BEKI lobby.
Violinist Ilana Zaks will perform at 7:30 pm Saturday, December 11 in the BEKI library. Now in her second year in the master’s program at the Yale School of Music, she has been described as a “fearless, refreshing and commanding” performer. Her program will include Paganini Caprice #4, Bloch Nigun from Three Pictures of Hasidic Life, Tartini Devil’s Trill Sonata, and the Paul Ben Haim Sonata.
The Bluegrass Characters Revue will present “A Tribute to Phil Zimmerman and Stacy Phillips” at BEKI on Thursday, December 23 at 7:30 pm. Also performing is Kol Kahol, a group of young musicians drawing inspiration from bluegrass musicians like Stacy Phillips, as well as contemporary Jewish bands such as the Klezmatics, the Moshav Band, and Nefesh Mountain.
Located at 85 Harrison Street (corner of Whalley Avenue – Route 63 – in Westville)