by Carolyn Bick
“Rabbi, what do we do with the cookies?” a young girl asked, as she delicately held a Star of David cookie heavily frosted with icing and purple sprinkles.
Kadima Reconstructionist Rabbi David Basior looked over, and said with a grin, “Well, I think you eat them.”
Around him, adults and slightly older children helped kids navigate the various tables set up for the congregation’s annual Chanukah party at the 2100 Building in South Seattle on Dec. 8.
Stationed at the dreidel contest table and sporting a menorah hat, Dhara Greenberg waited for participants to start playing with the small wooden tops, so they could win the classic chocolate gelt or another candy of their choosing. Across the room, Elizabeth Whitmire helped her children set up menorahs, as people dropped off different dishes on the party potluck table.
In the kitchen across the hall, Jonathan Rosenblum made latkes on a simmering stove, the frying oil mumbling and sputtering, as he dropped hand-sized pancakes of shredded potatoes bound together with egg into a cast iron pan. The menorah antennae on the headband he wore bobbed, as he reflexively jerked back to avoid the hot oil spatter. Behind him, oil stains and dried potato bits sprinkled the page of a well-loved cookbook cracked open to a latke recipe.
Rosenblum’s daughter, Tamar Rosenblum raced into the room with a plateful of her sugary winnings from the dreidel contest.
“Look at all the candy I won!” she exclaimed, setting the paper plate down on the metal kitchen island.
Looking over, menorah antennae wiggling, Rosenblum smiled.
“Can you carry those back in with you?” he asked, pointing to a fresh tray of steaming latkes, their oil just soaking into the paper towels beneath.
The younger Rosenblum nodded, and scooped up both her winnings and the tray, as she turned to rejoin the festivities in the other room.
Later, Basior led the attendees in a short Havdalah ceremony, followed by lighting all the menorahs on the long table before him, and singing a mix of traditional prayers, and more modern Chanukah tunes.