Hanukkah is right around the corner and unfortunately, COVID-19 is still here!! How are Northern Region East member’s holidays being affected? How are they celebrating? Is it different? I asked 6 people and here are their responses:
“Covid has turned all the normal celebrations virtual. In a normal year, I would see extended family, but this year, I either won’t see them at all, or it will be through Zoom.” —Ethan Lenkin, 10th Grade, Melech AZA
Ethan has been able to celebrate in a different way. With virtual celebrations, he is able to maintain safe COVID-19 measures, as well as being with his family through a difficult time in our country. Ethan has displayed responsibility to be able to follow the guidelines but still enjoy the holidays from the comfort of his home.
“Hanukkah will be different this year because normally I go to a family friend’s Hanukkah party for one day of Hanukkah which we can’t do with COVID.” —Dani Nadelman, 10th Grade, Achshav BBG
Dani has mentioned a reality in our country. The “norm” of spending holidays with lots of people is not a reality anymore. Although it's different this year, it's an opportunity to try new things and embrace and make your own traditions!
“Honestly, COVID is a lot, and that’s an understatement. Everything I’m doing that would involve multiple people other than my immediate family is online. My holiday traditions haven’t changed so much, just a lot fewer people with a lot less food. It’s not as chaotic which is kind of nice, but I’m not feeling the holiday spirit like I usually would when I’m with my friends and family.” —Jordan Arlen, 11th Grade, Achshav BBG
Jordan points out a positive that holidays are very tranquil and calm nowadays. Although we aren't able to spend holidays in-person, we are still able to see everyone we love and cherish through a different platform.
“COVID is affecting my holiday because usually we go to Canada for a week during winter break and visit my grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. But due to COVID and the border closure, we will not be doing so. One of our holiday traditions is eating dinner together on Christmas, ironically, since we are Jews. We eat a big dinner together and just have fun as a family.” —Chloe Baker, 11th Grade, Haganah BBG
Chloe alludes to a different time that feels like centuries ago, even though it was only last year. Hopefully, by next year, Chloe will be back to her normal traditions. Until then, she will be creating new memories with her family.
“I would usually go to a Hanukkah party with my family friend. Obviously, that is not happening. I am in my grade’s student government and we are planning an outdoor Hanukkah party though!” —Tali Kuperburg, 12th Grade, Achshav BBG
Tali’s school has been able to adapt to change and make do with the current state of the world. They are making the best of a tough situation. They are turning it into an amazing experience. It's a unique idea that may have not even have been thought of if COVID-19 didn’t exist. The pandemic definitely brought up new traditions and new ideas!
“We usually light the menorah with family and friends in our house, but because of COVID and travel restrictions, we can’t do that this year. We can still light the menorah, but it isn’t the same without friends and family.” —Jacob Swibel, 9th Grade, Einstein AZA
Jacob’s Hannakah may be different this year, but he is keeping an optimistic outlook for the holidays. Although they may be altered, he will spend the holidays with people he is closest to. It will be an intimate tight-knit holiday this year!
Thank you to everyone who has participated in the article. All of these examples show that with new challenges come new experiences and opportunities! Happy Holidays everyone and stay positive! We will get through this!
Ivy Seligman is a BBG from Northern Region East: Northern Virginia Council. She is an active member of her school's debate team and loves reality TV.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
An evening with Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism.
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