On Motza’ei Shabbos, December 21, Chanukah got off to an early start for the women at Emet Outreach. The multi-generational gathering at the Bukharian Jewish Congregation in Jamaica Estates included Emet students as well as their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and friends.
It was an elegant “ladies’ night out,” and the women were able to enjoy each other’s company while relishing a three-course Bukharian meal. There was festive entertainment including a DJ, photo booth, and an interactive game show that featured trivia and physical challenges.
Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet’s Founder and Director, welcomed the crowd, and Perry Arabov, a former Ateret Emet Seminary student and a teacher at YCQ, served as MC. Ms. Arabov shared a meaningful message about the holiness of the menorah and also announced a “screen-free” initiative for 30 minutes after candle lighting in order to absorb the k’dushah of the menorah.
The women were further inspired by Daniella Bababekov, an Emet student, who sang two beautiful songs that touched every woman in the room. Lena Harris, a member of the Jamaica Estates community, spoke about her mother’s foundation – Rivka’s Helping Hands –
and the importance of adding one act of chesed to each day.
“Our Chanukah party was truly a beautiful event, and there was an amazing energy from the start of the night until the last guest left,” said Ms. Shira Fendel, Emet Women’s Director. “It was incredible to celebrate and dance with each other, and it was so uplifting to see the happiness that was ‘ignited’ on everyone’s faces.”
Participants received a beautiful and useful laminated card with the Chanukah brachos as well as a mini-menorah and dreidels to enhance their Chanukah décor at home.
For further information on Emet programs and upcoming events, visit www.emetoutreach.org.