As dreidels spun on the table, skaters spun on the rink and guests enjoyed a human-size dreidel, jelly doughnuts, cotton candy and open skating. All were celebrating the first night of Hanukkah at Chabad of Great Neck’s annual Hanukkah on Ice event for the whole community at Parkwood’s Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink this past Sunday, Dec. 6.
For the past 12 years, Chabad of Great Neck has hosted this event to bring the community together for a fun-filled night to commemorate the lighting of the first Hanukkah candle. Rabbi Zalman Baumgarten, director of Chabad of Great Neck’s Cohen Hebrew School, said, “Especially during these dark times, we hope everyone will bring back some light into their homes and give out some light into the world….We really want to spread joy and get everyone into the holiday spirit.”
This joy described by Rabbi Baumgarten could be felt warming up the ice rink and the hearts of the many attendees. Whether busy skating, eating jelly doughnuts or hugging the human-size dreidel, community members were having fun and celebrating the start of Hanukkah.
Chana Aronozich was one of the many kids enjoying all of these Hanukkah festivities. Aronozich said, “This has been my third or fourth year coming to this event. My favorite part is when my friends and I skate and compete with each other to see who can go the fastest and do the coolest tricks.”
Chanie Geisinsky, wife of Chabad of Great Neck’s Rabbi Yoseph Geisinsky, said, “My favorite part is that people are here from every background having a great time all together….Hanukkah is really about showing us that what unites us is much stronger than what divides us.”
Rabbi Baumgarten said, “We are looking forward to the many Hannukah events we will be hosting this holiday season.”
The fifth candle will be lit tomorrow night, Dec. 10, at Village Green.