Hundreds of Jewish communities across the former Soviet Union organized Chanukah celebrations during the 8 days of the festival of lights, with events and programs fitted for every age and taste.
In Moscow, the festivities kicked off with candle lighting Tuesday night at the capital’s Revolution square, followed by fireworks and customary doughnut-eating. Similar ceremonies took place in all FJC communities, where candle-lit menorahs appeared in central city squares throughout the entire eight days of the holiday.
Musical concerts and shows, circus performances, quests and games for youth and of course, plenty of hearty Chanukah treats awaited the public following candle-lighting.
“Chanukah comes at the darkest and coldest time of the year, especially in our region, and we wanted to make sure every Jew gets a bit of light and warmth from the Chanukah festivities,” said Daniel Gordon, FJC outreach activities coordinator.
Siberian communities of Tomsk, Khabarovsk, and Omsk hosted an Israeli Russian-speaking comedian for a stand-up show that brought in plenty of laughter. FJC’s EnerJew youth movement had something planned in every one of its 40 branches across eight countries. In Samara, central Russia, for example, the club hosted a “Star Wars” themed Chanukah party that got everyone in the holiday mood. EuroStars young adults program ran a social networks contest for best Chanukah pictures in addition to local celebrations. And of course, all the Or Avner Jewish schools and kindergartens held Chanukah parties, celebrating the great miracle in Jewish history and telling its story to the young generations of FSU Jewry.