Photos by Aimee Barrows – for Shaw Media
The shop, which was open Sunday afternoon, carried a variety of dreidels, menorahs, candles, gelt and other Hanukkah items. The congregation also held its annual Hanukkah celebration, featuring crafts for children and a traditional Hanukkah meal, on Sunday evening.
Jackie Gorman (shown, left, with her daughter, Caitlin), a congregation member who runs the gift shop, said it’s a nice option so people don’t have to drive closer to Chicago to find things for Hanukkah.
“This is a service to our community, and anyone is welcome," she said. "We’ve had teachers come to buy dreidels for their classrooms. Hanukkah is a minor holiday in the Jewish faith, and is more for children. It’s been blown out of proportion because it’s so close to Christmas, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun.”
Caitlin Gorman was helping her mother, Jackie, run the shop. The 24 year-old DeKalb resident said she always enjoys Hanukkah and seeing the excited children come in to the shop.
“I remember [the shop] when I was a kid, so it’s fun to see. I always loved lighting the menorah and picking out the colors of the candles,” she said. Lily Kaufmann, 6, of DeKalb, said she comes to the Hanukkah shop and party every year and always has fun.
“I like Hanukkah because you get to eat food, spin dreidels and light lots of menorahs," the Jefferson Elementary School kindergartner said. "They light up and look nice. I light candles with my grandma and I get a present on the last night." Ezri Blau (shown), 8, of Downers Grove, was visiting the Congregation in DeKalb because her grandparents are members there. Like Lily, she said she likes to play dreidels over Hanukkah.
“We invite friends over, have dinner and play games, and my brother and I get presents in our Hanukkah pockets,” she said. (Caption: Congregation member Jeff Hecht makes latkes for the Hannukah celebration.)
Congregation member Jeff Hecht was busy making latkes for the party, and explained that they are a traditional dish made with potatoes, eggs, onions and spices.
“Hanukkah is nice because it’s a chance for the community to come together and a chance to see friends we haven’t seen in a while,” he said. "We all enjoy a meal together and let the kids play. Hanukkah is a big holiday for kids."
DeKALB – For Jewish families in DeKalb County, finding a wide variety of traditional Hanukkah items can be a challenge.
So the members of DeKalb’s Congregation Beth Shalom wanted to make it a little easier for folks to find items for the eight-day holiday by hosting the annual Hanukkah shop, which is held at the congregation every year a few days before the holiday begins. This year, Hanukkah begins Tuesday.