(Courtesy of Congregation Mount Sinai) As part of its campaign to revitalize Jewish life in Jersey City, Congregation Mount Sinai of Jersey City Heights (CMS) is hosting a Chanukah party open to the general public. Following a menorah lighting, there will be a wine tasting featuring Israeli wines in solidarity with Israel.
Renowned wine expert Yehoshua Werth will guide guests through a tour of leading kosher wines, specifically “Whites, reds and bubbles with a focus on pairing fried sufganiot and mature food,” Werth said jokingly. Apart from the traditional Chanukah favorites (latkes and jelly donuts), CMS will also serve a selection of cheeses from the Cheese Guy to accompany the wines.
All generations are invited. Rabbi Netanel Reed, the congregation’s spiritual leader, will keep the kids busy by teaching them to play dreidel, sharing a Chanukah story and holding a raffle with prizes while the adults are sampling the wines.
Built in 1910, the congregation’s Moorish-style synagogue building itself is a symbol of the staying power of Jewish life in the area.
“We’re not fading away,” said synagogue president Arthur Goldberg. “We hope to attract Jewish families into the neighborhood to reinforce our congregation. Jersey City is up-and-coming, a short PATH ride into Manhattan. Rents and housing prices are much cheaper in the Heights than Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island. Great Jewish school systems are nearby in Passaic, Teaneck, Elizabeth and Englewood. Kosher food is accessible as are mikvahs. Young couples should really consider Congregation Mount Sinai. Our chanukah party is a great chance to come and see for yourselves and to get to know us.”
Reed noted the special relevance of Chanukah this year: “Once again confronting an enemy who seeks to obliterate us, the lights of the Chanukah candles this year remind us that we mustn’t waver in the face of our enemies. Like the Maccabees, we have to stand up confidently, knowing that right is on our side and that Hashem will see us through. Just by being Jewish, living our Judaism and attending a Chanukah party, we all are doing our part to reinforce our unity and ensure that our enemies will never succeed.”
The Lights of Unity Chanukah Party will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. at CMS, 128 Sherman Ave., Jersey City. The cost is $35 for adults; children are free. RSVP to (201) 222-3445 or [email protected].