Latkes and dreidels and menorahs, oh my

Tuesday night was the first night of Chanukah celebrated by Jews all over the world, and it was also a very special evening in Cary.

Who would have thought that Cary’s first Jewish cultural festival would draw close to 2,000 people to downtown Cary? (At least, those are the numbers I’ve heard.)

Can-struction Menorah

Canorah, Photo by Selena

The place was packed!  People jostling to see and be part of everything – from making dreidels out of clay (yes, just like the song), to seeing oil pressed out of olives. Children crowded into a room to learn Israeli dancing, making candles and for some, tasting a latke for the first time.  There was even a “Can-orah” – a menorah made out of donated canned goods that went to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.

But for me, the best part was being able to be a part of a momentous evening.  And, as my first official act as a Councilmember, I was privileged and honored to welcome so many people to the Cary Performing Arts Center. Fellow Councilmember Julie Robison, Mayor Weinbrecht, and Rabbi Cotlar from the Chabad House, along with others from the Jewish community, and their families and friends, celebrated the beginning of this wonderful holiday, as a community.  It’s a true testament to the inclusiveness and diversity of our town, that we can celebrate our own traditions, while supporting others.  I was touched by all of the comments from the participants – they truly had a wonderful time.