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Eight nights of celebration

The Chabad House of Buffalo will once again host a handful of Hanukkah activities this year, including a Hanukkah Wonderland, an “electric menorah” parade and more.

Rabbi Moshe Gurary, the Chabad House’s program director, said the season will kick off on the first night of Hanukkah, Tuesday, Dec. 12, when the first candle of the Menorah will be lit at an event held at Tops International on Maple Road in Amherst.

Starting at 6 p.m., there will be latkes and donuts, as well as packages for children filled with Hanukkah-related gifts. Gurary said there will also be music and dancing.

“It’s a big way of opening up the holiday,” Gurary said.

A parade featuring cars creating an “electric Menorah” will take place on Dec. 14; it begins at 5:30 p.m. at 500 Starin Ave. It will run through the Elmwood Village and Allentown, culminating with a celebration and menorah lighting at 7 p.m. at Canalside.

And on Sunday, Dec. 17, the Chabad House will host its Hanukkah Wonderland, which Gurary calls a special holiday program for children.

“Kids can come and play in bounce houses and do arts and crafts, things like that,” he said. “There will be different entertainment for different-aged children.”

The Hanukkah Wonderland will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Chabad House’s Knesset Center, located at 500 Starin Ave., Buffalo.

The celebrations and symbols are a way for Jewish families to reflect in a season overwhelmed with Christian tradition.

“When they come out and see public displays, it brings out their identity and their pride in it,” Gurary said. “We live in a country that, thank God, has freedom of religion. It’s a very positive thing.

We are a minority amongst everyone else but still have an identity.”

The Chabad House is a Jewish outreach organization with a mission to share Judaism with people from all types of backgrounds. It’s not membership based, and its programs are for the general public.

For more details about Chabad House of Buffalo’s Hanukkah events, people may visit Chabadofbuffalo.com or call 688-1642.

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