3CLJC’s 2022 Chanukah Party was an absolute blast, filled with lots of food, fun and fantastic community spirit.

With almost 40 members attending, ranging from senior to some of the newest generation, it was a wonderful celebration of one of my personal favourite festivals in the entire Jewish calendar.

Held between 1pm and 3pm on Sunday 18 December, it was one of the community’s typical bring and share lunches, moved to earlier in the day to accommodate for the World Cup final that evening. Many people even stayed behind afterwards to watch the match. What says community more than that?

Led by the community’s beloved returning Rabbi Anna and featuring some of her uniquely delightful family-friendly entertainment, this was for sure an event not to be missed.

The main highlight for most attendees was the play used to tell the story of Chanukah and the Maccabees. Performed by all the younger members, it was a beautiful moment that allowed the whole community to come together and have some silly fun.

There was music and even some arts and crafts in the show for the children to get involved in. There is quite something in using tunes from films such as Les Misérables and The Greatest Showman to tell the story of Chanukah. This was such a typical element of Rabbi Anna’s distinct personality and one that has been missed and was a joy to experience again.

As is so typical of 3CLJC, there was far too much food, and everyone was keen to share the delights people had brought. It’s one of the things I love about our community – you’ll certainly never go hungry if you attend an event (well, unless it’s Yom Kippur, of course)!

Something else that really struck me was the range of people at the party, and not just existing members, but also visitors and potential new people. This was really a great chance for newbies to see how we as a community celebrate together and I can only hope that we continue to grow in numbers throughout the year.

For those who stayed behind to watch the World Cup, I think there was an added sense of community in doing something that wasn’t typically Jewish but still something exciting to do as a group of people celebrating together.