CHANUKAH-PALOOZA AND TALENT FEST Fundraiser for the Morris Winchevsky School featuring music and theatre. Saturday (December 16), 8 pm. $15. Winchevsky Centre, 585 Cranbrooke. 416-789-5502, www.winchevskycentre.org.
WHAT? "A Hanukkah showcase with nine musical acts, all members of the Winchevsky Centre and Camp Naivelt (Yiddish for 'Camp New World'). It's a little cottage community tucked away in Brampton."
WHAT IS THE GUIDING PHILOSOPHY OF THE WINCHEVSKY CENTRE? "It's a secular progressive Jewish community centre that offers cultural and educational programs emphasizing Jewish history and traditions."
HOW DOES A SECULAR ORGANIZATION APPROACH CELEBRATING A RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY? "Hanukkah is very much a secular holiday to begin with. We put the emphasis on celebrating the richness of our culture and traditions, while emphasizing the important struggles for freedom, and relating those struggles to modern-day oppressions."
WHY IS THIS HANUKKAH EVENT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER HANUKKAH EVENTS? "Sometimes mainstream Judaism can be a bit insular in its focus. Whenever the Winchevsky Centre has a holiday celebration, we remind ourselves that we are one culture among many and that we share the planet with many people equally. That's something that makes us unique."
FAVOURITE HANUKKAH SONG? "Tzint On De Lichtlach. It's about lighting the candles. That's a song I always associate with my grandmother, and we taught it to the younger grades in our school this year."
FAVOURITE LATKE RECIPE? "Funny you should ask. We made 600 latkes yesterday, and I made another 130 this morning, so I smell like latkes right now. We modify the recipe in the Food Processor Cookbook. The most important part is to squeeze all of the water out to get a really crispy latke."
BEST T.O. BAGEL SHOP? "Gryfe's. They're light and crisp, but bagels are a very personal choice."
WHERE WILL YOU BE ON CHRISTMAS EVE? "Our family's tradition was to go out for Chinese food and a movie - I'm sure you've heard this before. I've introduced my husband to the tradition. He's not Jewish, but he's employed at Omni Television and usually works that shift. I'll go to the station and keep him company, but first I'll pick up some Chinese food."