Bristol Roundup

Community Invited to Celebrate Jewish Festival of Lights

Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation Saved scroll recovered after WWII, from a destroyed community in Europe.

On Sunday, December 9th, the greater Southington/Bristol Jewish community is invited to celebrate the festival of Chanukah with music, food and candle lighting. Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation will host the event at the home of Dr. Amy Breakstone and Dr. David Reisner in Bristol beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Chanukah is a minor Jewish holiday, known as the Festival of Lights. It celebrates a Jewish victory against the Syrian Army. Upon returning to Jerusalem to re-light the Temple’s eternal lamp in the Temple, one day’s supply of oil was all that was found. The Chanukah story tells of that small amount of oil miraculously lasting for eight days until more oil was available.

Foods for Chanukah are often fried to remind Jews of the miracle of the oil.  Potato pancakes and sufiganyot (doughnuts) are traditional parts of the Chanukah meal. After the meal, games are played including “dreidel”.  The dreidel is a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The Hebrew letters stand for “A Great Miracle Happened There”.

The congregation’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Alana Wasserman, will lead the traditional prayers and songs on the last night of the holiday. Those attending are encouraged to bring their Chanukiot, candleholders which have room for a candle for each night of the holiday, plus a “servant” candle which lights the others. Since this is the last night, all of the candles will be lit and the reflection of dozens of candles burning at once is a beautiful sight.

Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation is part of the Reform movement. Services are held in the chapel at the First Congregational Church of Southington. More information about religious services and community activities can be found at or on their Facebook page, search for Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation.

For the location or to RSVP, please contact Dr. Amy Breakstone at 860.585.1818 or

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