Hanukkah Profiles

by | Nov 4, 2021 | Trending News

Seizing the moment

Terri and Lonny Sarfan

“We’re going to break the norms this year,” says Terri Sarfan.

Playing with the calendar a bit, Terri and Lonny plan to begin their family’s Hanukkah celebration just after Thanksgiving dinner.

Terri says they want to take advantage of having all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins together—something that doesn’t always happen around Hanukkah time.

“We’re melding the holidays,” she says.

Latkes will be served as appetizers and the kids will play dreidel.

“My three-year-old grandson has already asked for a dreidel,” Terri says. They’ve been reading Hanukkah-themed books, she says.

After lighting the menorah, the younger children will all get gifts and the older kids will participate in a fun gift exchange.

And, during the week of the holiday (as printed on the calendar), the Sarfans will have another family Hanukkah dinner in Richmond.

“With everyone traveling from near and far, we’re monopolizing on being together to celebrate as much as possible…even if it is a few days early.”

For the Sarfans, that oil gets to burn three extra days.


Celebrating with family…and with congregants on Facebook Live

Carol and Allan Brum

With children and grandchildren nearby, Carol and Allan Brum are fortunate to be able to usually celebrate Hanukkah three to five nights with their family.

“We light the candles together most nights,” says Carol. “We do presents for a few nights and we then devote one night to tzedakah.”

This year, the couple is adding a public component to their holiday festivities.

Ohef Sholom Temple will broadcast one of the congregation’s annual Chanukah Live! candle lighting events from the Brums’ home. “We’re really looking forward to that, and of course the kids will be here for that, too.”

With her granddaughter, Emerson, age 6, by her side during this conversation, Carol asks her, “Are you looking forward to Hanukkah?” The phone wasn’t necessary to hear her positive response!

Bringing Hanukkah lights to a festive corner of Virginia Beach

Sharon and Mark Lipton and Rosanne and Bill Simon

The North End of Virginia Beach, specifically 43rd Street, has long been a destination for those wanting to marvel at the elaborate array of Christmas lights displayed on this short block of homes.

When Mark Lipton moved to the street, he wanted to ensure that Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, was represented and would become a part of this tradition.  He asked his good friend, Bill Simon, a podiatrist and talented woodworker, to build a menorah to be displayed in his front yard.

Three years ago, Bill put his woodworking talents to the test and built a 12-foot-tall menorah out of PVC pipes, helping Mark assemble it on his front yard.

On the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, all of the neighbors on this stretch of 43rd Street traditionally prepare their holiday decorations and walk together from house to house, illuminating each home’s lighted holiday decorations along the way.

As Rosanne and Bill Simon join Mark, his wife Sharon, and his friends and neighbors in celebrating this year’s Grand Illumination, they plan to proudly light the menorah’s candles that the COVID-19 pandemic briefly interrupted, but did not end.