Hanukkah was celebrated by Progressive communities large and small across Russia, each congregation celebrated in its own special way.
In Tyumen, the Madregot community organized a Jewish culture festival from December 8-10. Tyumen congregation Community Spiritual Leader Igor Varkin and Chair Elena Mozgovaya, along with Cantor Dmitry Karpenko, took part in all events. The culmination of the festival was a concert by the Cantor held at the Tyumen synagogue and attended by community members, friends, and official city and regional representatives and administrators. A few days later, on December 9th, the Tyumen community went on a one-day retreat together with cantor and Moscow Executive Director Valeria Marek. Tyumen celebrated Hanukkah as a community on December 16th, with over 70 attendees.
On December 8 -10, the children’s pre-Hanukkah Shabbaton “Waiting for Hanukkah” was held in the Tver community. The children all eagerly anticipated the Shabbaton, where they had the opportunity to learn in a fun atmosphere, meet new friends, and spend time without their parents. Institute for Modern Jewish Studies students Pavel Miloslavin, Ksenia Mazaeva, Eugene Nozdrin, and Rafik Kangerli also participated in the activities.
At the Moscow Center for Progressive Judaism, the L’Dor Va-Dor community continued its long-standing tradition of lighting the first and last Hanukkah candles together. There were over 60 participants at each of the two events, and both evenings a festive Hanukkah service was led by Rabbi Alexander Lyskovoy, Rabbi Leonid Bimbat, and Cantor Dmitry Karpenko. Children and adults enjoyed Hanukkah games, quizzes, prizes, and, of course, a festive treat.
In the North community in Moscow there were about 50 participants at the Hanukkah celebration. The traditional event was warm and welcoming and everyone enjoyed tasting the delicious latkes that the children prepared.
Hanukkah is especially beloved by the Hava Nagila community of Chelyabinsk. Despite the cold and dark winter evenings, the community gathered in a warm and bright family atmosphere to light the menorah and share a festive meal.
Hanukkah in Simferopol’s Ner-Tamid community was conducted by rabbinic student Kira Grublite. The celebration was held on the eighth day and featured activities about the history of Hanukkah, a master class, trivia, candle lighting, and a Hanukkah treat.
In the community of Or Hadash in Moscow, the Hanukkah celebration was held on December 17 with more than 40 people attending. The rabbi spoke about the history and traditions of the holiday and children and adults participated in master classes.
In Lipetsk, there were over 30 community members at the Hanukkah celebration on December 14th. The celebration was prepared and conducted by first year student of the Institute for Modern Jewish Studies Daria Kareva.
On the evening of December 16, the fourth night of Hanukkah, the Makor community of Krasnodar celebrated together. In preparation for the holiday, there was a series of classes in the youth and family clubs, and the Sunday school. Everyone learned about the history and traditions of Hanukkah and its significance for the Jewish people.
From December 1-3, a family Hanukkah Shabbaton was held in the community of Severnaya in Moscow, organized and run by rabbinic students Alexander Kovtun and others. Shabbat services were led by Rabbi Leonid Bimbat and Cantor Dmitry Karpenko. The community also held a Hanukkah celebration with 50 participants. The traditional event was warm and welcoming and everyone enjoyed tasting the delicious latkes that the children prepared.