Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Parties galore as the Jewish Pavilion celebrates Chanukah

During the festive Chanukah season, most Jews host or go to at least one party. For the Jewish Pavilion, the season is extra festive (and very busy), with five program directors hosting at least 30 parties at senior living facilities from Poinciana to Sanford.

The parties were each a little different, tailored to the residents in each setting, but they shared some essential elements: menorahs were lit or turned on, blessings were made over wine and food, dreidels were spun, chocolate gelt and cookies were given out, and latkes were enjoyed.

The highlight at most of the parties was the Chanukah songs-sung together or enjoyed in performance. At Mayflower in Winter Park, about 20 residents joined in with gusto to sing "Rock of Ages," "O Hanukah" and other well-known songs, then enjoyed a beautiful performance of music for the Jewish soul by Cantor Nina Fine. At Brookdale Altamonte, the Pavilion's Penny Goldstein D'Agostino, well-known as a wonderful singer, led a program of songs. At Savannah Court of Maitland, kindergarten students from the nearby Jewish Academy of Orlando entertained residents with a heartwarming Chanukah show.

About 50 residents of Kinneret Apartments in Orlando were treated to a very special program, with lunch donated and catered by the Maitland Breakfast Club and served by leaders and board members of Kinneret Apartments and Kinneret Council on Aging. Entertainer Bob Glickman provided the music, with Pavilion board past president Paul Stenzler joining in with vocals.

Whatever the ingredients of the parties, the main thing was that they enabled Jewish seniors in residences all over town to celebrate the Festival of Lights with other Jews, keeping the joy of Chanukah alive from generation to generation.

The Jewish Pavilion thanks all of our volunteers, sponsors, donors and facility staff members for helping us make this Chanukah so very special for so many seniors in our community.


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