Seventh Annual ChanuCon The Detroit Jewish News

Full room view of Chanu-Con! from a previous year.

A community-wide Chanukah festival presented by Congregation Beth Shalom is back in person Dec. 4.
Congregation Beth Shalom of Oak Park will host its seventh annual Chanu-Con!, a community-wide Chanukah Festival, in person from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

After two years of hosting the festival virtually due to the pandemic, Beth Rodgers, Congregation Beth Shalom’s programming team chairperson and founder of the festival, is excited to bring 20 vendors together with gift ideas, live musical entertainment, children’s activities, kosher food and more.

“This is an event for the entire community. Everyone is welcome, and the admission is free,” Rodgers explains. “You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy the festival, and it’s for all ages from 0 to 110.”

New this year, Congregation Beth Shalom partnered with the Safrai Fine Art Gallery of Jerusalem and will have more than 1,000 pieces shipped from Israel on display for sale.

“By purchasing a piece from the Safrai Fine Art Gallery of Jerusalem, people will get to support artists from Israel while a portion of the proceeds will directly benefit Congregation Beth Shalom,” she said.

Beth Rodgers and her husband, David, at a Chanu-Con! FestivalYou can also expect to see a few new activities at the festival.

“We have our raffle where you can win prizes from our contributors. Usually held in person, now you can sign up online and have up until 11:59 p.m. on the day of the event to purchase tickets,” Rodgers adds.

Other activities you can expect to see at Chanu-Con! are local organizations like Reboot (an arts and culture nonprofit that reimagines and reinforces Jewish thought and traditions), JFamily doing Chanukah Bingo, King David Network (an online radio network promoting Jewish ideals and music) and so much more.

Rodgers recalls how she managed to organize the first Chanu-Con! festival in a short three months where the community really came together, and hundreds of people came out to celebrate. This inspires her to bring it back every year.

“We live in a community where there are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, secular, all different kinds of people who are Jewish, and I want them all to feel welcome and included,” she said. “Chanukah is meant to be celebrated, and it’s a season about togetherness, kindness, light and good. And all those things are showcased best when you’re as inclusive as you can possibly be at an event like Chanu-Con!”

Rodgers says she wouldn’t have been able to put together this festival without the support of the community and sponsors Bernard Wealth Management, Cohen Lerner and Rabinovitz PC, Vibe Credit Union, Hillel Day School, Hebrew Free Loan, Julia Robin Interiors, Kravings, Lincoln Rx Pharmacy, Sidetrack Books and Adrienne Berlin Design.

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