The Shaw Jewish Community Center is hosting two Hanukkah events that are open to the public on Dec. 6 and 11.
A Family Hanukkah celebration is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. It will feature a musical presentation of the Hanukkah story by the children of the center’s Early Child Development Department. Cost is $7 per person, with a $35 maximum per family. Advance registration is required and can be done by calling 330-835-0044.
On Dec. 11, Be’Tay Avon Café will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The old-style Jewish deli will offer latkes, doughnuts and entertainment.
Advance registration is encouraged and those in attendance are asked to pay what they can. To register, call 330-835-0056.
Hanukkah, or the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sundown on Dec. 8 (the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev). It celebrates the religious and military triumphs of ancient Jewish heroes.
Although it is a minor holiday in the Jewish year, its proximity to Christmas draws greater attention to it. The holiday includes a tradition of gift-giving, blessings, games and festive foods cooked in oil.
The lighting of the menorah is the most important Hanukkah tradition. The nine-branch candelabra typically includes eight candles — one for each day of Hanukkah. The taller candle in the middle is used to light the others. Each night, a special blessing is said as one more candle is lit.
A drive to collect canned foods is under way to build a giant can-menorah for the annual public menorah-lighting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 in front of Dillard’s at Summit Mall. After the event, the canned food will be donated to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
Collection locations for canned goods are Anshe Sfard (Revere Road Synagogue), 646 N. Revere Road; Temple Israel, 133 Merriman Road; Beth El Congregation and the Shaw Jewish Community Center, both located at 750 White Pond Drive. Cans will also be collected at the mall event, which is a project of Chabad of Akron-Canton and Anshe Sfard Synagogue. It is co-sponsored by the Shaw Jewish Community Center, Beth El, Temple Israel, the Lippman School and Jewish Family Service.
Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek army and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem nearly 2,200 years ago. It commemorates the miracle of a single portion of oil, used to light the menorah in the temple, lasting for eight days.
In other religion news:
Christ Is The Answer Ministries — 379 E. South St., Akron. 4 p.m. Sunday. The Rev. Jeffrey Bell and Holiness Church of Christ Deliverance Center will be guests for a special worship service. 330-376-1869.
Haven of Rest Ministries — at Rubber City Radio studios, 1795 W. Market St., Akron. Country music station WQMX (94.9-FM) will join Haven of Rest for the Tree of Lights radiothon campaign, Thursday through Dec. 8. Donations to hungry and homeless people will gradually light the large tree outside the station. For more information, call 330-535-1563, visit www.havenofrest.org or www.wqmx.com.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church — 50 N. Prospect St., Akron. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols. 330-376-5154.
Mount Zwingli United Church of Christ — 2172 S. Medina Line Road, Sharon Township. 9 a.m. Dec. 8. Annual Christmas Cookie & Goody Sale. Homemade treats available until sold out. 330-336-5533.
St. Columba Cathedral — 154 W. Wood St., Youngstown. 7 p.m. Dec. 9. The annual Advent Service of Lessons and Carols will be presented. The program features the cathedral choir directed by Dr. Daniel Laginya, assisted by organist Joseph Petros III and percussionist Dylan Kollat. Light refreshments will be served afterwards. Free parking provided. 330-744-5233.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church — 1361 W. Market St., Akron. 6:30 p.m. Friday and Dec. 8, 4:30 p.m. Dec. 9. The annual Madrigal Dinners will be held. Selected members from the church’s choir of men and boys and the St. Cecilia girls choir will perform. An authentic, 16th century, four-course feast will include pates, meats, vegetable dishes, pastries and ales in a decorated Tudor hall. Tickets are $40. Order at www.akronmadrigals.org or 330-836-9327 ext. 36.
South Arlington United Methodist Church — 790 S. Arlington St., Akron. 8:30 to 11 a.m. today. Breakfast fundraiser. Variety of breakfast items available. On Friday, the church will host an open public food pantry. 330-724-1334.
Trinity Lutheran Church — 600 S. Water St., Kent. 9 a.m. to noon today. The annual Christmas giveaway will be held in the gathering room. Includes decorations, trees, wreaths, candles, lights, bulbs and greenery. 330-673-5445.
Westminster Presbyterian Church — 1250 W. Exchange St., Akron. 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Service of healing and wholeness during worship. 330-836-2226.
Apostolic Church of Barberton — 1717 W. Turkeyfoot Lake Road, Coventry Township. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Children’s Christmas musical. 330-745-5550.
Barberton Friends Church — 272 Robinson Ave., Barberton. 7 p.m. Thursday. Singer/songwriter and ventriloquist Brent Vernon & Sam will appear for the Wonderfilled Christmas Tour Concert. Free-will offering. 330-745-8216 or www.barbertonfriends.com.
Bethany United Church of Christ — 1235 Broad Blvd., Cuyahoga Falls. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Christmas Choral Festival with area church choirs and the Falls River Brass performing traditional holiday music. Free, but contributions will be accepted for the Scholarship Fund of the Akron Chapter, American Guild of Organists. Reception will follow. 330-923-5277 or www.akronago.org.
The Chapel in Marlboro — 8700 State Route 619, Marlboro Township. 10:15 a.m. Dec. 9. Puppet JAMboree for children with Brett White and the puppeteers from Akron Bible Church. JAM (Jesus and Me) is the children’s ministry at the church. 330-935-0132.
Cornerstone Community Church — 5344 Fishcreek Road, Stow. 6 p.m. Dec. 8. Brent Vernon, singer/songwriter and ventriloquist, will be in concert. Open to the public. Free-will offering. His CDs and books will be available. 330-686-0722.
Blessed Trinity Parish — 300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Speakers will be husband-and-wife team Deacon John Green, former director of Catholic Charities Community Services in Summit County, and singer/songwriter Carolyn Green at this month’s Come and See meeting in McKeever Hall. Theme is Streetwalking With Jesus: Reaching Out in Justice and Mercy. Small discussion groups will follow and address a variety of topics. No cost, reservations not required. For more information, call Linda Herold at 330-376-5144.
Malone University — 2600 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 11. The Office of Spiritual Formation & Arrants-McSwain will offer a one-day educational workshop for pastors and spirituals leaders in the Randall Campus Center. The workshop is designed to help leaders understand and relate to people of their congregation and develop spiritual formation practices that relates to their congregation’s particular needs. To register, call Celia King at 330-471-8632. Cost is $59 per person.
The deadline for Religion Notes is noon Tuesday. Items must be in writing. Please fax information to 330-996-3033, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to Religion, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309.