Federation's Shalom Families celebrates 'Winter in Israel'
The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's Shalom Families/PJ Library Orlando celebrated the Hebrew month of Kislev (Chanukah, Oranges and Dreams) on Sunday, Dec. 11, at White's Red Hill Groves Farm Store in Sanford.
The nearly 70 moms, dads and children who attended were greeted with a citrus menorah, created by Shalom Families co-chair Fiona Anavi and her children.
Ed White of Red Hill Groves conducted a tour of the farm store, which included a hands-on demonstration of the citrus washing machine, antique pecan-shelling machine and hydroponic gardens, where families took part in a scavenger hunt, sipped on fresh-squeezed orange juice and were treated to a hayride to the grove.
In the orange grove, children picked hand-made orange dreidels that had been hung in the trees, learned the names of the Hebrew letters on the dreidels and even became spinning dreidels themselves! Children also learned how to make a menorah with their hands, about the number of candles on a menorah, and made Shamash (helper) candles for the first night of Chanukah. As children snacked on sufganiyot (jelly donuts), brought by Shalom Families committee member Dikla Yarimi-Meitis, they made miniature sleeping bags for "dream" dolls inspired by the story of Joseph and his dreams.
"I love that we were able to tie elements of Israel and the month of Kislev into our program," said Jennifer Cohen, the Federation's Shalom Families/PJ Library coordinator. "Living in Central Florida and celebrating Chanukah in an orange grove is something very special and unique to Orlando. I hope families who attended came away with a new and special way to celebrate Chanukah."
The program was provided free of charge by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando.
The next Shalom Families/PJ Library event is "Home Sweet Home," a special Mitzvah Day in coordination with the Jewish Pavilion. "Home Sweet Home" will be Jan. 8 at Village on the Green in Longwood.
For more information, visit http://www.jfgo.org/shalom.