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Seniors celebrate Hanukkah at La Jolla’s Jewish Community Center

Harry and Frances Zimmerman show their dance moves at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center's Senior Hanukkah Party.
(Courtesy of Lawrence Family JCC)

The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center Jacobs Family Campus in La Jolla hosted its annual Senior Hanukkah Party for more than 30 guests Nov. 30. The event returned in person after having to take last year off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was the first of about 30 events funded by San Diego Seniors Community Foundation’s No Senior Alone Holiday Grants.

Guests have lunch during the Senior Hanukkah Party at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.
Guests have lunch during the Senior Hanukkah Party at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center Jacobs Family Campus in La Jolla.
(Courtesy of Lawrence Family JCC)

The guests ate homemade latkes (potato pancakes) cooked and served by volunteers and staff and learned about the Jewish holiday from Rabbi Yoram Dahan. There also were songs from Lawrence Family JCC’s preschoolers and singer-guitarist Peter Seltser.

Adding light to the festive blue spotlights placed around the courtyard at La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel, a large menorah burned under the palms to mark the third night of Hanukkah on Nov. 30.

In addition, through the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation grant, the Lawrence Family JCC assembled and delivered 100 Hanukkah packages to isolated senior citizens. The bags included an eight-branched menorah, candles, dreidels, chocolate gelt (coins), a box of potato pancake mix and a “Thinking of You/Happy Hanukkah” card made by JCC children.

Sisters Helene Baron and Kathy Reibman celebrate Hanukkah at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center's Senior Party.
(Courtesy of Lawrence Family JCC)

“Social isolation among seniors was already a public health crisis before COVID-19, and it’s worse than ever. Many of our oldest community members are alone during the holidays,” said San Diego Seniors Community Foundation founder Bob Kelly. “This grant program brings holiday comfort, company and celebrations to San Diego’s older adults throughout the county, thanks to a strong network of nonprofits that support this population.”

— La Jolla Light staff