Hanukkah Happening promises fun, food

The 25th annual Hanukkah Happening, co-sponsored by the Nierman Preschool’s Glickman-Galinson Education Complex and the JCC Youth Department, will take place at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center on Dec. 14. People of all faiths and ages are invited to the largest Hanukkah event in San Diego, which will feature a silent auction, family-oriented activities and prizes.

The event is co-chaired by Michelle Gross and Rachel Herman, who call the event a place “for the entire community to get together to celebrate Hanukkah, create crafts, eat Hanukkah foods, and buy presents and prizes for the whole family.”

The silent auction will feature luxury and practical items, ranging from spa packages, trips, restaurant vouchers and hotel accommodations to jewelry and children’s items.

“One of the best parts of this event is getting to see friends from all over San Diego under one roof,” Herman said. “OK, I’ll admit another favorite part of mine is the fantastic silent auction. It’s hard to believe the amount of goods available and the amount of things I want to bid on.”

“We live in a society where December is all about Christmas, and with all of the Christmas trees and holiday lights, there is very little for Jewish kids to get excited about and celebrate in December in terms of Hanukkah,” Gross said. “It is so wonderful to see people of all ages, races, faiths and cultures sharing the Jewish traditions.”

Children will have the opportunity to have their photos taken with favorite heroes and heroines, including Batman and Cinderella, while adults will enjoy a variety of foods available (including baked goods and traditional fare like latkes and apple sauce).

Other attractions include game and craft booths, including Elmo “jumpies” for small children and the pirate jump and slide combo for older kids. The “teen room” will include games like “Rock Band” and “Dance Dance Revolution.”

“I love seeing the kids’ reactions when they enter the gym, which is converted for the day into a Hanukkah haven,” Gross said. “There is such a buzz of excitement as kids and adults create Hanukkah crafts together, play games and win prizes, eat delicious falafel and participate in all of the activities. I love seeing the kids stuffing the raffle boxes with tickets in front of a particularly hot item such as Disneyland passes or a cool gadget.”

Hanukkah Happening

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14
  • Tickets are $2; parking is free
  • (858) 457-3030 or