Ice sculpture menorah highlights Hanukkah celebration

December 13, 2011

Past celebrations featured giant menorahs made of kosher doughnuts, LEGOS, balloons and candy.

This year, ice is the medium of choice for creation of the menorah that will be among the highlights of a Hanukkah celebration set for Dec. 20, said Berry Farkash, of the Chabad of the Central Cascades.

The happening is set for 6 p.m. Dec. 20 at Blakely Hall in the Issaquah Highlands. Several local dignitaries, including Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger, are expected to attend and take part in the lighting ceremony.

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‘Annie Get Your Gun’ actor hitches show to composer Irving Berlin

November 22, 2011

Josh Feinsilber (left), as Little Jake, Analiese Emerson Guettinger, Maggie Barry and Vicki Noon star in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ at Village Theatre. By Jay Koh/Village Theatre

“Annie Get Your Gun” at Village Theatre is connected to Irving Berlin by more than just the score.

The connection between the local staging and the storied composer is Josh Feinsilber, 10, the actor and Issaquah Highlands resident playing Little Jake, a pint-sized assistant to the show’s sharpshooter and heroine, Annie Oakley.

Josh’s great-grandfather, Joe Feldman, penned a song for touring musicians at the tail end of the Great Depression.

“Irving Berlin’s film featured one of my numbers by a big band coast-to-coast, and stated that ‘the local lad writes at least four hits a year or considers the year wasted,’” Feldman told The Washington Post in 1938.

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Celebrate Purim with costumes and hamentashen

March 15, 2011

At the mention of Haman’s name, children and adults spin noisemakers, called graggers, and boo.

Purim “is the most fun, the loudest and the most exciting of all the Jewish holidays,” said Seth Basker, of Issaquah.

Chabad Executive Director Rabbi Berry Farkash celebrated a Hawaiian-themed Purim with the community last year. Contributed

The Chabad of the Central Cascades invites the community to celebrate the ninth annual Purim party, held this year with a Persian theme. Every year, Chabad celebrates Purim using the backdrop of a different country. In the past, Chabad has celebrated Purim in Israel, Asia, Hawaii and Mexico — all from the confines of Blakely Hall.

“Every year, we do a twist to get the community involved,” Chabad Executive Director Rabbi Berry Farkash said.

In honor of the Persian theme, Chabad will host several Persian activities, including carpet-weaving demonstrations, henna artists and live music from the band Musica Pharsia. People can snack on a buffet of Persian food, such as Persian steamed white rice, a Persian meat stew called chelo with okra khoresh and Persian pitas with hummus.

Farkash will begin the Purim party by reading from the Megillah, the scroll that tells the narrative of Esther.

The story recounts how Esther marries King Ahasuerus. The king’s prime minister, Haman, decides to kill all Jews when Esther’s cousin and foster parent, Mordechai, refuses to bow down to him.

Not knowing that his wife is Jewish, the king agrees with Haman’s plan. Esther heroically tells her husband that if he allows the Jews to be killed, he will have to kill her, too, because she is Jewish.

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How do students celebrate the holidays?

December 21, 2010

Hanukkah and Ramadan

Issaquah High School

By Kim Bussing

At Issaquah High School, holiday traditions are not limited to Christmas trees and candy canes; students celebrate their individual beliefs in a variety of ways. Take for example junior Allie Lustig, who celebrates Hanukkah with her family.

“Every year, we make latkes at least once and play dreidel,” she said. “We do not play it every year, but it is a Hanukkah tradition, kind of like what eating fruitcake is to Christmas.”

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, commemorates an ancient Jewish victory and lasts for eight days. Unlike Christmas, it does not begin on a definitive date on our calendar but on the 25th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar. However, similar to the widely celebrated Christian holiday, Hanukkah is an opportunity for families to spend time together away from the pressures of homework and deadlines. Read more

Doughnut menorah offers a sweet treat for Chanukah

November 23, 2010

The Chabad of the Central Cascades will celebrate the first of eight nights of Chanukah with this giant, nine-foot-tall menorah made out of doughnuts. Contributed

Normally, people of the Jewish faith grapple with the eternal Chanukah question of applesauce or sour cream, and which one tastes better on delicious potato pancakes called latkes.

This year, those attending the annual Chanukah celebration in the Issaquah Highlands will encounter another question: How many doughnuts will fit on a nine-foot menorah?

The Chabad of the Central Cascades is hosting a family-friendly festival of lights for the first day of Chanukah, and instead of featuring a menorah made out of LEGOs, balloons or candy, as Issaquah’s Chabad has in past years, this season’s centerpiece will be made of treats that would make Homer Simpson drool: kosher doughnuts. Read more

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