Congregation B’nai Moshe Rabbi Shalom Kantor, left, and seventh-graders Genny Aronov and Jonah Owen, of Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, help build a wooden menorah for a parade with floats designed by Hillel students.

Congregation B’nai Moshe Rabbi Shalom Kantor, left, and seventh-graders Genny Aronov and Jonah Owen, of Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, help build a wooden menorah for a parade with floats designed by Hillel students.

Photo provided by Gabriella Burman


Hanukkah parade to ‘help spread light’ to Huntington Woods, Farmington Hills

By: Mike Koury, Sherri Kolade | Woodward Talk | Published December 4, 2018

HUNTINGTON WOODS/FARMINGTON HILLS — The age-old story of Hanukkah is on its way to Huntington Woods and Farmington Hills soon.

In partnership with Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit and Congregation B’nai Moshe, a Hanukkah parade with floats designed by Hillel students is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in Farmington Hills and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in Huntington Woods. Hillel Day School is located in Farmington Hills, and Congregation B’nai Moshe is located in West Bloomfield.

Students in the makerspace at Hillel made two large wooden menorahs — one of which will be in the parade. The other will be on display at a home.

Congregation B’nai Moshe Rabbi Shalom Kantor said that he has two children who attend Hillel, and a number of his congregants are students there too, so a partnership was inevitable.

He added that in consulting with a teacher at Hillel, he learned how the youth could be involved, in what way and what they would learn.

Kantor said that this experience teaches students about construction and allows them the “experience of creating something.”

This is the third year that B’nai Moshe has been involved in a Hanukkah-related celebration; this is the first year for the partnership with the school.

“We’ve done something like this each year; it continues to grow and develop,” Kantor said.

Kantor said there are about 15 Hillel students working on the project, and 15 young people from the congregation, plus other adults and community members.

In Huntington Woods, resident Steve Rabinovitz will be volunteering his home for people working the parade and for the kids to have fun afterward and get refreshments after the parade.

“When the parade ends, we have doughnuts and hot drinks and lemonade — just things for the kids and so the parents can come in,” he said. “Some of their volunteers are going to set up games in the basement for the kids. It’s just a gathering spot where everybody gathers after the end, get a little refreshment.”

Rabinovitz is a former president of B’nai Moshe and a longtime member of the congregation, which is how he ended up volunteering his home.

“I saw (the parade) last year. They did a terrific job in putting the parade together, putting the route together and contacting some of the members of the synagogues that live in the community looking for houses,” he said.

Rabinovitz elaborated that his family “had a great time, and I think it’ll be better attended this year because everybody who was there just thought it was a terrific program to celebrate the holiday.”

Dawn Straith, an educator at Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, said that this collaboration is a great way to figure out how to involve students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

She added that in creating menorahs for the parade students had a chance to use woodworking power tools. They learned hands-on skills and incorporated math and science into constructing the menorahs.

“This experience is an opportunity where they can apply the skills that they learn in a real setting right in the moment,” Straith said. “Kids are exposed to this type of learning (that is) more engaging.”

Kantor said that one of the messages of Hanukkah is about being a light during the “darkest time of the year.”

“People want to retreat into their homes,” he said. This parade aims to engage and beckon people out of their homes and to “help spread light.”

To register for the parade, visit bnaimoshe.org.