More than 300 attendees converged on Brighton Beach’s Shorefront Y lastSunday for the Y and UJA-Federation of NY’s “Hugs for Chanukah” carnival.
Children of all ages and their families were able to shake off the Superstorm Sandy-doldrums for a while and enjoy three hours of fun, Chanukah-themed activities throughout the Y’s 3300 Coney Island Avenue facility, whose sturdy structure right off the boardwalk withstood the massive onslaught of this past October’s storm surge — a Chanukah miracle in and of itself.
Kids and their families participated in arts & crafts, cookie decorating, face painting, family portraits in a Chanukah-themed photo booth, and carnival games.
Another one of the day’s memorable highlights were the lively performances by five talented child performers from Broadway — Rachel Resheff, Kara Oates, David Gabriel Lerner, Tyler Merna and Broadway’s “Annie,” Lilla Crawford. The pint-sized performers sang selections of their favorite pop and show tunes with the accompaniment Musical Director Benjamin Rauhala.
“Hugs for Chanukah” sprung from the desire to bring the community together to celebrate the eight-day Festival of Lights, which commemorates the miracle of the oil and ancient rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the revolt of the Maccabees.
The event, “the largest and most elaborate celebration at the Shorefront Y to date,” would not have been possible without support from the UJA-Federation of Westchester and “their amazing group of volunteers,” Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Shorefront Y staff and volunteers, and Sports is Life members.
Photos by Erica Sherman for the Shorefront Y.