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Scenes from the 5th Annual Uptown Menorah Lighting

The West Village was hopping last night beneath the glow of an enormous menorah. It was a Hanukkah celebration put on by the Intown Chabad. It was already packed by 7:00pm, with guests picking up their menorah, dreidel, and candle filled goodie bags.

Everyone gathered around the heaters, drinking hot coffee and snacking on latkes and doughnuts. (Things fried in oil to commemorate the great miracle - oil for the eternal light lasting eight days instead of one.)

Saul Keyes and his Jewish Blues band provided the music for the event. Despite being a Rabbi daughter, I had never heard of JewsBlues. After some general merry-making, Rabbi Zvi Drizin welcomed the crowd, thanked the sponsors, and then it was on to the lighting. It was dramatic and touching.

The Rabbi climbed the ladder leading up to the menorah, torch in hand. He led the crowd in the singing of the prayers. From the looks of it, most of the folks in attendance were in the know.

The Hora followed the lighting with the Rabbi at the helm and it was like my Bat Mitzvah all over again. Everyone around starting dancing too as the band wound down for the evening. But things were just getting started.

The after-party was held at Ro2 Art with an amazing sushi spread, an open bar, and a DJ in the front window. Guests drank and ate and mingled and talked about the group show on the walls.

Intown Chabad is known for being the go-to place for Dallas' hip, post-college/pre-kid Jews. "INspirational, INformal, INtown," is their tag line. And if last night's happening is any indication of the events they put on, I can definitely see the draw.

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Jenny Block