Festival of Lights Begins Tonight
Temple Emanu-el plans full Hanukkah schedule; two sisters decide to help spice things up in Westfield; Washington students travel through time and a championship soccer team shows off their winning smiles.
Happy Hanukkah, Westfield! We have some news of Temple Emanu-El's planned activities for the Festival of Lights. Also I found out how one person's ski trip led to a hot and spicy movement in Westfield. Washington students took a trip back in time — and we show off the winning smiles of a champion soccer team.
This is what is going on About Town.
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah and Temple Emanu-El is inviting people to help them celebrate the Festival of Lights. The temple will be hosting Hanukkah menorah-lighting ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. each evening, through Dec. 8, on the Temple Emanu-El lawn.
The only exception is Friday night, when the ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m., just before the 7:45 p.m. Shabbat Hallelu service. The Shabbat Hallelu service is an upbeat service, featuring singing and dancing. Following the Shabbat service, there will be a social-action fair, starting at 9 p.m. at the temple.
On Sunday, the temple's Men's Club will host a Hanukkah dinner, featuring brisket, latkes and more, The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and cost $10 per person. Bring your own menorah for the lighting ceremony during the meal. The celebration also will feature music and games and crafts for kids.
On Wednesday, Dec. 8, the Festival of Lights will conclude with a dreidel spin-off at the Temple. LINKS, the temple's Temple Emanu-El's outreach organization, is sponsoring the contest. For more information about LINKS, contact Lauren LaConti at email@example.com or Miriam Verga at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A HOT AND SPICY SKI TRIP
Some people go skiing in Colorado and spend their time whooshing down the slopes, sipping hot chocolate by a warm fire and dining out at some of the fabulous restaurants in Boulder or Vail. Not many think about business when they're in this winter wonderland.
Except for Jackie Mittelhammer and her sister, Becky Solheim. Last March, Jackie was vacationing with her family in Colorado. She took a break from the slopes to explore the Savory Spice Shop. Jackie loved the place, and immediately saw a way to fill a void in Westfield. She recruited Becky to become partners in a franchise here.
Jackie and Becky journeyed back to Denver for a month of training. Eight months later, they opened the store at 138 East Broad Street. It is the seventh Savory Spice Shop in the country. Many in town are already buzzing about the store and its more than 400 different spices. It's become the most talked about new store since Alan's Orchard.
The store is divided into many sections: extracts, baking, mixed medleys, barbeque (with blends for chicken, steak, seafood), dips and dressings, chilies, curry, salts, Moroccan blends, exotic, spice hot chocolates, herbs, seeds, soup stocks, demi-glazes, vanilla extract, natural cocoa, cinnamon and more.
The store reminded me of my trip to the spice market in Istanbul, Turkey. I was so impressed that I sent my husband, Joel. He's the chef of the family, and I am looking forward to whatever tasty treat he creates to spice things up at home!
WASHINGTON SECOND-GRADERS TRAVEL IN TIME
A couple of weeks ago, Washington School second-graders traveled a mile and a half across town — and 290 years back in time. At the Miller-Cory House Museum, the kids learned what it was like to live in the rural colonial town that was Westfield, circa 1700s.
During the trip they practiced various chores, including churning butter, and did children's crafts from the 18th century. Patricia D'Angelo, a Miller-Cory volunteer and retired Washington teacher, described life for kids in the 1700s and compared it to the lives of kids today. Which do you think was an easier time for kids?
THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON
On Monday I wrote about Team Hustle, the U14 girls soccer team here in town, which won the championship game on Nov. 20. Today I am showing off their winning smiles!
The team is coached by Pete Echuasse, Mike Schuman and Emily Schuman, Mallorie Weisse, Melanie Nettle, Ellie Warsh, Kayleigh Denner, Claire Cassie, Annie Condodina, Ava and Gillian Wadman, Carolina Sanchez, Jenna Reed, Catherine Bergin, Tiffany Hiu, Amy West, Zoe Federbusch, Lauren Echuasse and Corrine Kuntz.
Looking great, girls!