PEABODY — The community-wide Chanukah celebration, Latkepalooza, attracted more than 400 people for a day of dancing, crafts and fun.
Young, old and everyone in between gathered in the community room at the new Waldfogel Health Center and at the North Suburban Jewish Community Center on the new campus of Aviv Centers for Living for a party that featured live music, dancing, crafts, shopping, text study and of course, latkes.
“It was a really nice community celebration,” said Miriam Blue of the NSJCC, one of the event chairs.
In the preschool rooms of the NSJCC, children made Maccabee shields with representatives of the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation and colored pasta menorahs with volunteers from the NSJCC. Rabbi Nechemia Schusterman of Chabad Peabody demonstrated how oil is made for groups young and old.
For those who wanted to get a head start on their shopping, 17 vendors of everything from bags to books to beads peddled their wares. In the center of the room, several groups provided entertainment to an audience that included the very elderly and some of the residents of Woodbridge and Waldfogel to the very young. Many families were there with three generations.
They listened to the teen band Sababa, the ruach band from Temple Beth Shalom and watched the Israeli Dancing Group that meets at Temple Ner Tamid. Rabbi Deborah Zuker and Hal Schevitz, spiritual leader of Temple Shalom in Salem offered educational opportunities throughout the day.
The community sponsors included Aviv, the Lappin Foundation, Temples Ner Tamid and Beth Shalom; Congregations Sons of Israel and Tifereth Israel; the NSJCC and Chabad Peabody.
Aviv opened the Waldfogel Center in September with this sort of celebration in mind.
“This is why we designed Aviv this way. It is a true center for living where the community can come and celebrate and those frail elders that live here will continue to thrive and participate,” said Stephen Neff, CEO of Aviv.