Skip to comments.Hanukkah Boosters Light a Fire Under Holiday
Posted on 12/16/2011 8:38:42 PM PST by Steelfish
DECEMBER 17, 2011 Hanukkah Boosters Light a Fire Under Holiday Acrobats, Heavy Metal Join Celebrations; 'Vodka and Latkes' Parties.
STEPHANIE SIMON And ANN ZIMMERMAN.
The Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska traditionally hosts an art show to celebrate Hanukkah. This year, however, Rabbi Joseph Greenberg wanted to go bigger.
The Maccabeats music video, "Candlelight," based on Mike Tompkins's parody of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite," has logged more than six-million views. The video, by students of New York City's Yeshiva University, was directed by Uri Westrich.
So on Tuesday, the first night of the holiday, the center will present Cirque de Hanukkah. A troupe of professional acrobats is flying into Anchorage to perform feats including using their bodies to create a living menorahthe traditional candelabra lighted during the eight nights of the holiday. There will be carnival games, and kids will be invited to take whacks at a piñata shaped like a dreidel.
"I know it's not directly Hanukkah-ish, but we're going to make it Hanukkah-ish," Rabbi Greenberg says. Any congregation that hopes to stay relevant to modern American Jews "has to do a big Hanukkah," he adds. "That's the key."
For years, many American Jews have treated Hanukkah as a low-key holiday celebration, giving children gifts, inviting friends over to light the menorah and decorating with blue-and-white lights. But now, all across the nation, Hanukkah celebrations have shifted into overdrive.
Young adults are hosting "vodka and latkes" parties where the alcohol is served along with traditional potato pancakes. Hip-to-Hanukkah musicians are updating the holiday's slim repertoire of songs in genres like heavy metal, reggae, hip-hop and rap.
And then there are the Schlep Sisters, two burlesque dancers who have booked the 400-seat Highline Ballroom in Manhattan for their Menorah Horah show, a striptease shot through with Hanukkah history.
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I love this Channukah song called Light Up The World.
Thanks, that’s a good one.
Hanukkah gets mention in the New Testament as the Festival of Lights. There’s no need to get cutesy with the name.