December 28, 2016

The Big Latke Lunch & Dreidel Spin-off - Bringing Hanukkah to Our Place

VICTORIA, B.C. – To celebrate Hanukkah – the Jewish Festival of Lights – eager and excited volunteers of the Congregation Emanu El took over the kitchen at Our Place on Wednesday, Dec. 28 for the third annual The Big Latke Lunch. The one common denominator that links all faiths during the holiday season is a special feast. Combine that with the spirit of sharing, family and friends, and suddenly the meal becomes an event.

The Big Latke Lunch delivered platefuls of delicious, crisp potato latkes served alongside generous dollops of sour cream and apple sauce to accompany a hearty soup. And as Our Place generally serves between 350 and 450 of Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens at lunchtime, this meant a lot of latkes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to share our festival and bring a little bit of light to the family members at Our Place,” said Rabbi Harry Brechner.

And as an added bonus, there was a special "dreidel board" for people to play dreidels (who can spin the longest), plus entertainment by The Klez, a wonderful six-person band playing beautiful klezmer music.

Congregation Emanu-El is the oldest surviving synagogue in Canada, and its members are generous supporters of Our Place Society as its Avodah Social Action Group hosts a much-anticipated, monthly birthday party with cake and ice-cream for all. The Jewish holiday begins at sundown on Dec. 24 and ends the evening of Jan. 1. The eight-day holiday celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C., when Jews led by the Maccabees revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors.