More than 30 people got together in the Smith Art Gallery in Stirling for SCoJeC's second Chanukah party of the year. Margalit Borowski told the story of Chanukah, and our youngest participants, Ohad and Noam Samuel-Brice, lit the candles on the chanukiah while Roi Carmeli said the prayers.
As well as food for the soul, there was SCoJeC's now traditional buffet of latkes, doughnuts, bagels, smoked salmon, cream cheese, rugelach, crisps, pickles and fruit, which was completely cleared by the appreciative crowd.
Then our community artists, Tom and Roi, led a craft session showing people how to make dreidles out of thin sheets of metal, and Transition Stirling ran an activity table where participants made individual Stars of David with twigs and string, and decorated tealight holders out of recycled jam jars.
Many people found coincidental connections and made new friendships during the evening. The parents of one young Hungarian student had given her lots of contact details for Jewish people in Scotland. She hadn't yet followed them up and was astonished to discover that the first person she spoke to was on her contacts list! A Jewish family who had moved from London 30 years ago but had not previously made any links with the Jewish community were overjoyed to be part of the evening, and now plan to attend more Jewish activities in the future. Another participant who had been to several SCoJeC events throughout the year told us that this was the best of all – she really enjoyed the craft activities and had spoken to lots of people.
Three representatives from Central Scotland Regional Equality Council, who have supported several of SCoJeC's events in the area, joined in all the activities wholeheartedly. They told us how much they'd learned about Judaism and how much they loved the food.
At the end of the evening, participants left their feedback on post-it notes. One wrote, "Thank you for excellent hospitality, the story of Chanukah, and the people were very friendly, the craft tables were well supported", and others said, "A very good event for both children and adults!", and "I had a terrific evening and loved the crafts, educational too – loved the latkes!"