A light-filled start to Chanukah

I’m very lucky to have spent many happy years celebrating the upcoming holiday of Chanukah in this community. Some of my earliest memories are from attending school Chanukah productions before I was even a student here. Of all the Ezra traditions from over the years, our Chanukah production is one that continues to bring us together as a community to pay homage to our history and traditions and to also spotlight our talented students. When thinking about Chanukah, there are different components that we engage with. We often focus on the miracle of the oil or the heroism of the Maccabees, but there are also ample opportunities to focus on spreading light and warmth in our community and beyond. 

The Babylonian Talmud in Trackdate Shabbat, 21b emphasizes that the Mitzvah of Chanukah is to place the Chanukah lights at or near the entrance of one’s home so that all can see it. It goes on to say that those who live on second stories or above can place their lights in the windows. This is in order to publicize the miracle. Rashi however, says that this does not mean to the general public, but that it is referencing homes that faced a courtyard and therefore, that the lights were visible to the immediate community.

Our school’s tradition of an annual Chanukah production honors this tension beautifully. We are simultaneously sharing the light and talents of Ezra to our greater community of parents, friends, family while also spreading warmth and love through our own classrooms, hallways, and performance spaces. Without giving too much away, I can tell you that the production this year is a labor of love, and also shows our diversity while having a lot of fun. Our theme for the year is heroes and while our students will be spotlighting some Jewish heroes from the ages, I hope that it will also be an opportunity for us to join together to honor the heroes that add so much to our school and community year after year. We will also honor our treasured Jackie Bogdanoff as she prepares to retire.

I hope that you will join us Monday night, December 19th for a celebration of song, dance, and fun. Our students are so excited to share their hard work with you all. Another long-time Ezra tradition is that we welcome back our Alumni to lead us in Hatikva, the Israeli National Anthem at the end of the show. I’m so honored to be sharing the stage with our alumni this year and hope that as many former Ezra students as possible will join us! 

Wishing you a restful weekend, a Shabbat Shalom and a light-filled start to Chanukah,

Tani Cohen-Fraade

Head of School