On the second day of Hanukkah, children and their families spent a joyous night listening to music, playing games, watching puppets and enjoying a variety of snacks while in their pajamas as part of Congregation Beth Shalom’s Hanukkah Pajama Party.
“Our preschool is now 25 years old, and we do this every year,” said Carol Bloom, director of CBS Preschool. “Sue Epstein has been coming to us for a few years. She does monthly Tot Shabbot with us, as well as Hanukkah night.”
“All of our families come in pajamas and we have a great time. At the end of the evening, everybody goes home with doughnuts and chocolate gelt, and a present for each of the children,” she added.
Epstein and Rabbi Jay Siegel provided entertainment for the evening. Bloom said Congregation Beth Shalom would host an event or activity each day except Friday because it’s closed and Saturday will be Shabbat.
Bloom said they closed for three months at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. But they were able to come back for summer camp where they taught their students to be “superheroes” by wearing a mask every day.
“Everybody’s happy because there’s no crying in preschool,” Bloom said. “Then our children, when they grow up, they go to religious school. They get bar and bat mitzvah together and everybody remains best friends because all our children have grown up together.”
“As a matter of fact, earlier this year two of our children got married that met in preschool,” she added.
The Hanukkah Pajama Party is a community event, and community is at the heart for members of Congregation Beth Shalom.
“There’s not a lot of Jewish people in our valley. We always have to come together and be a community,” Bloom said. “And we’re all a family. Everybody here is part of our family.”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re at our synagogue or another synagogue. Everybody’s family and we always want to make sure that our doors are open to you and that you feel comfortable here,” she added.
CBS Preschool will host fathers, uncles, dads, grandfathers, and everyone, or FUDGE Day, on Jan. 29. The fathers or other fraternal figures in children’s lives will be on site for a morning program where they’ll participate in a trike-athon to raise money for their snow day in May.