Westminster Towers and Westminster Park Celebrated Hanukkah with the Jewish Pavilion
ORLANDO – This week, residents at Westminster Towers and Westminster Winter Park celebrated the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah with a special program featuring festive Hanukkah foods, games and a telling of the Hanukkah story.
The celebrations were hosted by the Jewish Pavilion, a faith-based organization with the mission of bringing Jewish holidays and celebration to older adults in retirement communities throughout Central Florida.
The Hanukkah celebrations at Westminster Winter Park and Westminster Towers helped Jewish residents in their communities connect with the traditional celebrations. Residents of different faiths at each community enjoyed games and the traditional meal of latkes, fried potato pancakes, as they celebrated and learned about the miracle of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah, often called the Jewish Festival of Lights, is a holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Today the holiday is celebrated with gifts, a game played with a spinning top called a dreidel, and festive foods like latkes and jelly-filled doughnuts.
Hope McCormack, Jewish Pavilion Program Director for Downtown Orlando, led the residents at Westminster Towers in singing prayers and songs, and explained how the game of dreidel is played. McCormack also played trivia: “Does anyone know why the dreidel is so important to Hanukkah? When ancient Israel was occupied, studying the Torah was forbidden. The students would use the dreidel to continue studying.”
At Westminster Winter Park, Susan Bernstein, Jewish Pavilion Program Director for North Orlando, told the story of the military victory of the ancient Maccabees over the powerful Greek army, and about the miracle of light when the Temple was being purified.
“We were very pleased to host this Hanukkah celebration and to partner with the Jewish Pavilion,” said Rev. Walk Jones, Director of Church Relations for Westminster Communities of Florida. “I could see that the residents enjoyed it! There are many programs at our that inform and educate residents of different faiths about their neighbors and their traditions and beliefs.”
As a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, Westminster Communities of Florida is proud to serve residents representing the Jewish faith and countless others. Our celebrations of the holiday season are all part of our My W Life program for wellbeing of body, mind and spirit.
Thanks to Hope, Susan and the Jewish Pavilion for hosting this wonderful celebration at Westminster Towers and Westminster Winter Park!