Chanukah events in the Deep South


Anniston’s Temple Beth-El will have its Chanukah celebration with a covered dish dinner at 6:30 p.m. and a 7:30 p.m. service on Dec. 15. Latkes will be provided; main dishes, vegetables and desserts are needed.

Beth Shalom in Auburn will be hosting a community Chanukah party on Dec. 17. The Auburn University holiday celebration, with the lighting of the campus Christmas tree and menorah, was on Dec. 3 at Samford Field.

Auburn Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl will be frying the latkes on Dec. 12 as he hosts Auburn Hillel at his home.

The third annual Birmingham Grand Menorah Lighting presented by the Levite Jewish Community Center and Chabad of Alabama will be at Saks Plaza at the Summit, Dec. 17 at 4:30 p.m. There will be a carnival theme this year, with music, games, balloons, popcorn, cotton candy, a photo booth, traditional latkes and doughnuts. Newly-inaugurated Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin will take part in the candlelighting ceremony, which will begin at 5:15 p.m.

Birmingham’s Temple Beth-El Sisterhood will hold its annual Chanukah luncheon, raffle, blintz and bake sale on Dec. 10 at noon. Reservations are $12 for adults, $6 for children over age 6.

Birmingham’s Levite Jewish Community Center will have Kid’s Night Out: Hanukkah Holiday Hurrah on Dec. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m., for ages 5 to 11. “Happy Feet” will be screened and there will be a chance to make snow globes. Reservations are $30, $20 for members.

Chabad of Alabama
and Camp Gan Israel will have Chanukah on Wheels at Skates 280 south of Birmingham, Dec. 12 at 4:30 p.m. A hot dog and latkes dinner will be served, and there will be a menorah lighting in the middle of the rink. Because of 280 traffic, open skate will be available at 4 p.m. Admission is $7 per skater.

Birmingham’s Temple Emanu-El
will have a Chanukah service and Consecration with their Shabbatones, Dec. 15 at 5:40 p.m. Emanu-El will also have its Chanukah Family Fun Day on Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Brotherhood Chanukah Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Lunch is $10 for adults, $5 for children.

Birmingham’s Knesseth Israel
will have its Chanukah Bingo event on Dec. 13, with dinner at 5:30 p.m. and Bingo to follow. There will also be a raffle.

Dothan’s Temple Emanu-El will have its Chanukah potluck on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. Cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children.

The Chanukah celebration at B’nai Israel in Florence will be on Dec. 19 at 6 p.m., with a covered dish dinner following the service.

Temple B’nai Sholom and Etz Chayim in Huntsville will have their annual Chanukah menorah lighting on Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Big Springs Park.

Etz Chayim in Huntsville will have its annual latke party and bingo on Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. Reservations are $7 for adults, free for Sunday School students.

The annual Fry Fest at Temple B’nai Sholom in Huntsville will be at 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, where they will try to fry just about anything. Shabbat services will follow.

Chabad of Huntsville will be having a Build Your Own Menorah event at the Home Depot on South Memorial Parkway, Dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m. Registration is required for the free workshop. They will also hold the annual Grand Menorah Lighting on Dec. 14 at Bridge Street Town Center, outside the Apple store, at 4:30 p.m. On Dec. 18, Huntsville’s first ice menorah will be lit on the ice rink behind the Huntsville Museum of Art. Skating will be from 4 to 6 p.m.

Ahavas Chesed in Mobile will have its Shul Chanukah Party on Dec. 17. The jumpy house opens at 4:30 p.m., with candle lighting, latkes and pizza at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are $5 and are requested by Dec. 10.

The “Soon to be famous Latke Extravaganza” at Mobile’s Springhill Avenue Temple will be on Dec. 15 following the 6 p.m. service, during which the religious school will present “The Miracle of the Candles.” There will be a congregational menorah lighting. Reservations, due by Dec. 13, are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 10.

Springhill Avenue Temple’s Eastern Shore Torah Study Group will have its Chanukah party on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m., at the home of Kim and David Zimmerman in Fairhope.

Chabad of Mobile will have a Chanukah Train, with a nine-foot menorah lighting, latkes and doughnuts, music and raffles. The train starts on Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Chabad in Mobile, with guest speaker Lieutenant Commander Laurie Lans, who was stationed in numerous war zones but maintained her Jewish practice, including lighting a menorah at Saddam Hussein’s palace. The train then goes to 1 North Beach Road by the pier in Fairhope on Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m., and finishes at 501 Gulf Shores Parkway in Gulf Shores on Dec. 17 at 6 p.m.

The Agudath Israel-Etz Ahayem Sisterhood in Montgomery will host the annual Hannukah Hoopla, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. The congregation will also host a free community Chanukah concert featuring violinist Boris Savchuk, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. Born in Ukraine, Savchuk started studying music at age 6 and immigrated to Israel in 1990. He has made numerous albums of Jewish music in Israel and three U.S. albums of varying genres. He plays Klezmer, Yiddish, Chassidic and traditional Eastern European Jewish music, along with jazz and improvisational violin and viola. He has completed eight U.S. tours. The concert will be an “eclectic program of world music.”

Temple Beth Or in Montgomery will have its Chanukah family service and dinner, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.

Tuscaloosa’s Temple Emanu-El
will have its Chanukah party on Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m. The Men’s Club will provide latkes, everyone should bring a meat dish (no dairy), vegetables, salad or a dessert. The Sisterhood is selling Fair Trade Chanukah gelt by Divine Chocolate, which is co-owned by the 85,000 farmer members of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana.

The Chabad Jewish Center at the University of Alabama will have a menorah lighting on campus on Dec. 12, with latkes, doughnuts and a s’mores bar at 6 p.m., and the lighting at 6:30 p.m.


Chabad Emerald Coast will have a Menorah Workshop at Home Depot in Destin, Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m., to build a PVC menorah. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are required. The annual Chanukah menorah lighting will be at Destin’s Harbor Walk Village, at the stage, Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m., with music, latkes and doughnuts.

Beth Shalom in Fort Walton Beach will have its Family Chanukah Night on Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. with latke tots, a colossal menorah illumination, the Chanukah story told by Chuck London, and holiday songs led by Michael Walker.

Temple B’nai Israel in Panama City will hold its annual Chanukah party in conjunction with the monthly rabbinic visit on Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. The children will be leading the congregation in a candle lighting ceremony. In the evening, there will be an olive oil tasting at Emerald Coast Olive.

Temple Beth-El in Pensacola will start off Chanukah with a Brotherhood Latke Making Party, Dec. 10 from 7:30 to 11 a.m., to make hundreds of latkes for the week. The Chanukah celebration will be at the 6 p.m. musical service on Dec. 15, led by Rabbi Joel Fleekop, Sonia Yanovskiy and Victoria Adamenko, along with students from the School for Jewish Living. A latke and chicken dinner will follow, with a potluck for salads, sides and desserts.


Gemiluth Chassodim in Alexandria will have a Chanukah Shabbat on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., with a Chanukah dinner, prizes for the most festive Chanukah attire and community menorah lighting. Reservations the chicken and latke dinner are $10, free for children.

Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge
will have a Havdallukah party and dairy potluck dinner, with the Henry S. Jacobs Camp and Jewish Journeys, on Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. There will be a dreidel tournament, camp photo booth, puppet show, latkes and Chanukiah lighting.

B’nai Israel in Baton Rouge will have its Chanukah celebration on Dec. 15 with a Shabbat service at 6 p.m., followed by a latke dinner and party with a community menorah lighting and a White Elephant gift exchange. Reservations are $10 for adults and $5 for children. The religious school will have a menorah contest, with entries due on Dec. 10.

Chabad of Baton Rouge will have a Menorah Workshop at Home Depot on Coursey Boulevard, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. There will be latkes, gelt and dreidels, and reservations are required. On Dec. 12, the Judaism Through the Arts school at Chabad of Baton Rouge will build a can menorah, relying on donations of canned goods, which will be donated to the Baton Rouge Food Bank. The family Chanukah party will be from 4:15 to 6 p.m. and a dairy dinner will be served. Chabad of Baton Rouge’s Top Chef Latke Edition will be held on Dec. 13 at Rouse’s in Village Market, at 7:30 p.m. Two chefs will compete for the title, and there will be a menorah lighting at the free event. My Big Fat Greek Shabbat, with a Chanukah twist, will Dec. 15 at 7 p.m., following a traditional Shabbat service at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are $18 adults, $10 for children, $54 for families.

The annual Menorah lighting at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, coordinated by Chabad of Baton Rouge, will be on Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. There will be latkes and doughnuts, and the lighting of a nine-foot menorah. New for this year, there will be firefighters on hand, and they will do a chocolate gelt drop from the ladder.

Temple Sinai in Lake Charles
will have a community Chanukah dinner after Shabbat services, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.

Temple Shalom in Lafayette
will have its Chanukah Latke Dinner on Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Chanukah services will follow, led by Student Rabbi Ross Levy. A festival Chanukah Oneg follows services. On Dec. 16, Temple Shalom will have an Adult Chanukah Party at 8 p.m. at the home of Vivian and Joe Katz. The Temple Shalom Religious School will hold its Chanukah celebration on Dec. 17 at 10 a.m.

The Northshore Jewish Congregation in Mandeville will have a Chanukah party and Religious School Open House on Dec. 10 at 9:30 a.m., including dreidel games, latkes, and a toddler station. On Dec. 15, Rabbi Deborah Zecher will lead a Chanukah Seder and potluck dinner at 7 p.m.

B’nai Israel in Monroe will have its Chanukah party on Dec. 15, starting with a Shabbat service and Chanukah singing at 6 p.m., then a potluck latke dinner in the social hall.

The New Orleans Community Chanukah Celebration will be on Dec. 17 at 4 p.m., at the Uptown Jewish Community Center. There will be fried chicken and latkes, and a live concert by folk duo Eric & Happie. Based out of Tulsa, they met at summer camp and released their first album, “It’s Yours” last year, including a track entitled “Louisiana.” Sponsored by Cathy and Morris Bart, this event is free and open to the community.

The annual Chanukah at Riverwalk, hosted by Chabad of Louisiana, will be on Dec. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Riverwalk food court in New Orleans. The Grand Menorah Lighting will be at 6 p.m., on the Grand Terrace overlooking the Mississippi River. There will be a hot latke bar, music, menorahs, dreidels and gelt.

One of “America’s most amazing Chanukah parties” according to the Washington Post, “Latkes with a Twist” will present “Latkes Delicious” on Dec. 14 at Little Gem Saloon from 7 to 10 p.m. Chefs Mike Friedman and Greg Augarten, co-owners of Pizza Delicious, will create a Latke Bar will all the toppings. There will be live music by The Marc Stone 3, a silent auction and complimentary Vodka Latke Punch, courtesy of Sazerac Brands. The event is presented by Jewish Children’s Regional Service, and proceeds from the event will support PJ Library and Jewish children throughout the New Orleans area with needs-based scholarships for college, Jewish summer camp and special needs assistance. Tickets are $25.

Beth Israel in Metairie
will have its community Chanukah party on Dec. 19, with children’s programming at 5:30 p.m., candlelighting and a buffet dinner at 6 p.m. There will also be a gift auction and a raffle drawing. Reservations are free for members, $18 for non-members. A family Chanukah Havdalah will be held at the Greenberg home, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. The program is geared toward ages 4 and under.

Torah Academy in Metairie will have a Chanukah party and talent show, Dec. 13 at 4 p.m., with latkes and doughnuts.

Jewish Community Day School in Metairie will have its Chanukah Musical Extravaganza, Grandparents and Special Friends Day, Dec. 19 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., with latkes and intergenerational activities.

Gates of Prayer in Metairie will have its Chanukah dinner on Dec. 15 after the 6 p.m. service, featuring comedian Mike Strecker. Reservations, due by Dec. 13, are $10 for ages 13 and up, free for children. The Chanukah Gift Bazaar is Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Shir Chadash in Metairie will have a Taft Shabbat and Community Chanukiah Lighting, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Adelman home. The informal schmooze will be followed at 6 p.m. by Havdalah and candlelighting, with fresh beignets. Chanukah at Shir Chadash will be on Dec. 17 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., with Chanukah crafts, learning and games.

NOLA Tribe
will have a Chanukah Shabbat on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m., at the home of Michele Gelman.

JNOLA will have a Light It Up Chanukah party on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., at Port Orleans Brewing Company. There will be a funny sweater contest and a toy drive for Kingsley House.

Anshe Sfard in New Orleans is holding its Chanukah party at the Rivkin home on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., a change from the previous announcement.

Chabad of Louisiana will have Chanukah Story Time on Dec. 6 at 4:30 p.m. at Barnes and Noble in Metairie. A Chanukah crafts and cooking event will be at Whole Foods in Metairie on Dec. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m., with latkes and a pasta menorah. There is no charge but reservations are needed. The Mobile Menorah Parade will be on Dec. 16, starting at the Uptown Chabad House at 7:30 p.m.

Temple Sinai in New Orleans will have an Olive Press Chanukah Experience with Rabbi Mendel Rivkin on Dec. 10 during religious school, followed by a lunch and scavenger hunt from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants are asked to wear or bring black clothes. The annual Chanukah dinner, sponsored by Sisterhood, will be on Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m., along with the Lighting of the Menorah on the Avenue, followed by services at 6:15 p.m.

Chabad at Tulane will have a Chanukah party at the Rivkin home on Dec. 14.

Touro Synagogue
in New Orleans will have its Chanukah Family Dinner on Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m., with chicken, latkes and doughnuts, following the 6 p.m. service. Reservations are $15 for adults, $10 for children. Rabbi Todd Silverman will be “In The Kitchen” on Dec. 14 for “Latkes and Sufganiyot,” discussing the importance while making these classic foods. Space is limited for the 6 p.m. class, reservations are free for members and $18 for non-members.

B’nai Zion will host the Shreveport community Chanukah party and lunch on Dec. 17 at 11:30 a.m., with latkes, sufganiyot, fair trade market, beeswax candle making and other activities.


Chabad of Southern Mississippi
will have a free community Menorah lighting, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi, by the carousel. There will be latkes and sufganiyot, face painting and Chanukah T-shirts to decorate.

B’nai Israel in Columbus is holding its Chanukah potluck luncheon and auction on Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m.

Hebrew Union Congregation in Greenville will have its Chanukah luncheon on Dec. 17.

Beth Israel in Gulfport
will have its Family Chanukah Party on Dec. 17 at 6 p.m., with latkes, a dairy potluck dinner, live entertainment and a raffle. All are welcome.

B’nai Israel in Hattiesburg will have a congregational Chanukah party and covered dish potluck dinner following the 6 p.m. service on Dec. 15, with a Chanukah edition of “Family Feud,” a Bad Dad jokes contest and other games. An adult education program with wine and cheese will be Dec. 16 at 5 p.m.

Beth Israel in Jackson
will have its Sisterhood Chanukah dinner on Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m., with services following at 7 p.m. Dinner reservations are $12 for adults, $5 for ages 3 to 13.

The Western Shore Torah Study Group of Mobile’s Springhill Avenue Temple will have its third annual Chanukah Fest on Dec. 14 at the home of Nell and Cal Ennis in Pascagoula, starting at 6:30 p.m. Latkes and blintzes will be served, and attendees are asked to bring a dish for sharing. The topic will be “From Oil in Lamps to Oil in Latkes.”