Western Massachusetts Jewish community preparing for Hanukkah

The local Hanukkah celebration begins at sundown on Satuday at the Jewish Community Center.

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Jewish families around the world and right here in Western Massachusettts are preparing for the eight-day observance of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. The Jewish community gathers for the start of Hanukkah on Saturday evening at sundown, with the ceremonial lighting of the Jewish Community Center’s menorah.

Students at Longmeadow’s Heritage Academy are well-versed in the celebration, centering on the ancient miracle of the Holy Temple candelabra known as the menorah. The menorah stayed lit for eight days, even though it barely had enough oil for one day.

Heritage Academy student Hannah Cannizzo told 22News “I find this holiday to be old school, but very modern because it’s all about religious freedom and being a family and fighting back. Even if you’re smaller than the enemy.”

Heritage Academy students also prepared the holiday staple: potato pancakes or latkes as they’re also called.