Jewish Cultural Festival

Photos from Cary’s Jewish Cultural Festival

Jewish Cultural Festival

Cary, NC — It was chilly and rainy last Monday night, but that didn’t stop citizens from coming out to celebrate Hanukkah and Jewish culture at the Town of Cary’s Jewish Cultural Festival. 

The Jewish Cultural Festival

Last week on Monday, December 22, 2014, drivers on Dry Avenue couldn’t help but slow down to look at the impressive crowd at the Cary Arts Center.

Despite the less-than-optimal weather conditions, Cary residents of all faiths and ages gathered around to watch the lighting of a nine-foot menorah.

Jewish Cultural Festival

The nine-foot menorah stands in front of the Cary Arts Center

After the lighting, some attendees headed straight for the food tent to try an assortment of Kosher foods.

The Chabad of Cary Men’s Club prepared latkes (potato pancakes) with applesauce, falafel with cucumber-tomato salad, pita, and hummus, and sufganiyot (jelly donuts)–yum. Pizza was also available for picky eaters.

Jewish Cultural Festival

The food line

Jewish Cultural Festival

The food tent was warm, and it filled up quickly.

The food tent wasn’t the only place to keep warm–the Jewish Cultural Festival continued inside the Cary Arts Center with three hours of scheduled crafts and activities for kids and families.

Puppet shows and sing-alongs were only part of the fun–I sat in on a “Sofer Activity” presented by Rabbi Levi Raskin. A sofer is a Jewish scribe who can transcribe scrolls and religious writings.

I also peeked in on a “mezuzah craft,” where children were making their own brass mezuzah cases.

Jewish Cultural Festival

The rabbi showed a small audience how he transcribes scrolls or religious writings.

Jewish Cultural Festival

A scroll

Jewish Cultural Festival

The mezuzah craft

In perfect holiday spirit, attendees were also encouraged to donate hats and gloves to Note in the Pocket, an organization that provides clothing to impoverished and homeless children in Wake County.

The Jewish Cultural Festival

The donation box filled up quickly.

The several hundred Cary citizens in attendance appeared to have a wonderful time at the festival–I certainly enjoyed seeing all the fellowship, education, and fun.

Look for It Next Year

If you missed this year’s Jewish Cultural Festival, look for the event next year–its popularity this year, despite the cold and rainy weather. speaks for itself.

This event was presented by the Town of Cary, Chabad of Cary, Beth Shalom, and The Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary. Thank you to all the volunteers.


Photos by Jessica Patrick.

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