Post-Its | Seniors

Hanukkah Lights up Handmaker

The eight days and nights of Hanukkah were filled with much light, song and dreidel playing at Handmaker.

Even before Hanukkah began, residents were treated to a pre-Hanukkah Concert by David Wien and Rabbi Avi Alpert of Congregation Bet Shalom in the Grand Foyer.

Hanukkiah were lit in every Handmaker neighborhood every night of Hanukkah, sometimes with a large group, sometimes with just a few in attendance, but always with blessings and songs.

In the Rubin AL Neighborhood, there were some other musical guests a few nights as well. The Jurkowitz family has been coming to Handmaker for many years, and this year played some Hanukkah tunes after lighting candles on the fourth night. Desert Melodies, with pianist Harriet Siskin, entertained residents with some Hanukkah tunes on night six. Harriet’s mother lived at Handmaker for many years.

There was plenty of dreidel playing and gelt eating as well. A group of teens from the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) came by on night three to play dreidel with residents in the Tynan and Rubin AL neighborhoods. Many of these teens had been to Handmaker several times already as part of the monthly Better Together Intergenerational program. A Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA) student reminisced about coming every year to celebrate Handmaker resident Gertrude’s birthday, from her 100th to her 105th! And another visitor was able to meet the great-grandmother of one of his current classmates. (Peggy – aged 101!) The BBYO group warmed up the residents for the visit a few days later with the seventh-grade class from THA, who brought their kindergarten buddies to play dreidel with residents. Smiles were wide on the faces of both residents and the students, and the energy level was high!

Latkes of course were also a part of the Handmaker Hanukkah celebrations. While latkes are on the Handmaker menu, and can be ordered throughout the year, during Hanukkah. fresh latkes are made in the Rubin Dining Room during lunch for residents and staff. The smell of the latkes frying up made its way down the halls and lingered in the building all day long. All part of the joy of Hanukkah!

And on the last day of Hanukkah, Handmaker residents welcomed a large group of students from THA for a Hanukkah performance in the Great Room. The residents loved watching the students sing and dance, and many sang along. Just the perfect way to celebrate the end of a light-filled eight days and nights.