As the Cincinnati Jewish community celebrates the Festival of Lights, the J will host two menorah lighting events, as well as a special holiday concert. 

“As we continue to navigate holidays during a global pandemic, it’s important to put a little bit more light into the world this Chanukah,” said Programming Director Holly Wolfson. “The J is excited to be able to offer three special events this season, where community members can safely gather and celebrate.”


Chanukah at Fountain Square

The Mayerson JCC will celebrate the last night of Chanukah with the Cincinnati Jewish community on Sunday, December 5 at 6 p.m. This is the second year for this celebration. It was introduced last winter as a way to safely gather during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chabad of Southern Ohio will place a giant Menorah on Fountain Square and will help ceremoniously light the candles. In addition, the Jewish Community Relations Council will speak about shining a light on antisemitism as part of the Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) Shine a Light campaign. 

The event will be fun for families. Kids and adults alike can enjoy bumper cars and ice skating on the Fountain Square rink, as well as free hot cocoa and other beverages available for purchase on the square. 

“I would encourage everyone to come,” Wolfson said. “Last year, there was just something really special about being downtown, spending time together, and hearing Jewish music in a public space.”

All ages are invited; there is a small charge to attend.


Menorah Lighting at Oakley Square

The J will also host a fun event for young adults — a Menorah Lighting at Oakley Square! Attendees will be able to watch the Menorah lighting while catching up with friends and enjoying delicious snacks. 

“This is a wonderful time for young adults to get together and celebrate,” Young Adult Coordinator Lauren Glynn said. “We’re excited to partner with Chabad Young Professionals Cincinnati to bring everyone together.”

This event is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 2 and free to attend. 


Nefesh Mountain at Memorial Hall

Chanukah is also the perfect time to enjoy great music! Complete the holiday experience with a Bluegrass and Old-Time band with a Jewish perspective, Nefesh Mountain. 

Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff, both native New Yorkers with an affinity for bluegrass, formed Nefesh Mountain in 2014. This show will feature songs from their third album, Songs for the Sparrows. Listeners will join them along their musical journey as it tells the tale of two perpetual travelers setting out on a new voyage. 

The performance will be held Monday, December 6 at 8 p.m. 

“Your ticket goes so much further than a one-night show when you use code ‘HOPE’ when you purchase your ticket,” Wolfson said. “Memorial Hall will make a donation from each ticket to Help Hope Live in honor of Ethan Kadish and Lauren Shmalo Berg — two adults with severe spinal injuries in our Cincinnati Jewish community who are being helped by the organization.” There is a charge for tickets to this concert.

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