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Holiday Prgrams

SHOFAR FACTORY The demand for Shofars (grammatically: Shofarot) at the Jewish Renaissance Fair, precipitated local Hebrew Schools' request of the JDC to provide them with a Shofar making experience before Rosh Hashanah. Hundreds of Children will see the art of Shofar making, and for a nominal charge, will be able to take their own Shofar - yes, a real Ram's horn! - home.

TASHLICH SERVICE AT ROYALWOODS For the past few years a local tradition was created. A resident of the Royalwoods community in Williamsville hosted dozens of families in the area for a Rosh Hashanah afternoon get together. Rabbis Labkovski and Greenberg and his sons have made the almost three mile trek to bring the spiritual dimension of Rosh Hashanah to the crowd. The Shofar was sounded (for those who might have missed a note or two) and a meaningful Tashlich service followed.

SHOFAR SOUNDING FOR HOMEBOUND AND HOSPITAL PATIENTS The JDC staff and volunteers visit the hospitals on Rosh Hashanah and sound the Shofar for those who cannot come to Shul.

ROSH HASHANAH SERVICES AND MEALS As with every Shabbat, the JDC combines its services with meals to which everyone is welcome to attend, free of charge. There are no membership dues or tickets to purchase to be able to pour out your hearts to G-d in prayer on the high holy days.

YOM KIPPUR SERVICES AND BREAK THE FAST MEAL Yom Kippur is no exception, people flock to the JDC - without advertising - to participate in a most meaningful service followed by a break the fast meal for all.

SUKKOT SERVICES AND HOLIDAY MEALS IN SUKKAH Every day of Sukkot we are enjoined to eat in a Sukkah. At the JDC there are daily Sukkot services followed by meals for all in the Sukkah.

SUKKAH MOBILE What's a Sukkah Mobile? It's a Sukkah on wheels. For the last few years, the JDC has sponsored a Sukkah on Wheels which has visited prisons, hospitals, shopping malls, supermarkets, private homes, local Jewish Schools and office buildings, enabling hundreds of Jews to fulfill the mitzvah of eating something in the Sukkah and making the blessing on the "Four Species" (Lulav, Etrog, myrtle, willow-symbolizing the unity of all classes of Jews).

SUKKAH PARTIES The JDC sponsors several Sukkot parties at different homes (Sukkot).

SIMCHAT BEIT HASHOEIVAH CELEBRATION One of the highlights of Sukkot is the celebration that took place in the temple in Jerusalem when they would draw water for the special ritual. We celebrate this day with a major party with music and other forms of entertainment.

SIMCHAT TORAH BLAST The very climax of Sukkot is Simchat torah when we all dance together with the torah. This past year (1998) close to 200 people joined us at the JDC for true torah joy.

CHANUKAH DINNER The JDC has acquired a reputation for throwing a good party. The JDC has hosted Chanukah parties and dinners at the JCC for the past three years. Many have remarked that it is at the JDC party that one can find the broadest cross section of the Jewish community. Representatives of every congregation as well as some (as of yet) "unaffiliated" Jews attend these festive dinners, with music and fun for adults and children.

CHANUKAH MOBILES A Chanukah Mobile?! Yes, the JDC has found a way to bring the light of Chanukah throughout the Jewish community. Chanukah Menorot mounted on several of the JDC staff and friends cars, elicit only smiles and compliments from hundreds of motorists they pass. It is one more way of alerting everyone to the Festival of Light and its importance. These Chanukah Mobiles carry Chanukah kits which are distributed throughout the community. But that's for the next item.

CHANUKAH MENORAH DISTRIBUTION The JDC has been providing Chanukah Menorot and candles to hundreds in the Buffalo community, particularly, the new Americans, at public Chanukah functions and in visitations to private homes.

CHANUKAH SUPPLIES TABLE AND MENORAH AT TOPS AND JCC Both Tops International and the JCC hosted a JDC "Chanukah Table" where Chanukah supplies were featured, sizzling Latkes were served and other Chanukah paraphernalia were available.

MENORAH AT THE MALL A giant Menorah was erected in the center of Galleria Mall. A table was set up manned by JDC volunteers and staff to provide the shoppers with information about and supplies for Chanukah. Thousands of people were reminded of the Holiday and hundreds availed themselves of the Chanukah supplies at the table.

MENORAH AT AMHERST TOWN HALL Publicizing the miracle of Chanukah is an integral part of the mitzvah of Chanukah. At the request of Town officials, a Menorah was erected in Town Hall for the duration of Chanukah that brought the message of religious freedom to hundreds..

PURIM DINNER The JDC has a reputation for throwing a great Purim party and dinner. Come as you are or in disguise, the main point is to experience boundless joy in a spirit of Jewish unity.

SHALLACH MONOT DISTRIBUTION Purim is for feasting and frivolity. But, Purim is also the time to show friendship and unity by sending one another gifts of food known as Shallach Monot. The JDC distributed hundreds of Shallach Monot bags to Williamsville residents, reminding them of the important Mitzvah and the need for more Jewish unity.

UPS - UNITED PURIM SERVICE The JDC began a new service for those who would like to send a beautiful Shallach Monot basket to friends and relatives in the Buffalo metro area. All you have to do is do choose between three sizes of baskets and for a nominal fee we deliver the baskets on Purim (weather permitting) to increase the joy and friendship of Purim.

PASSOVER MATZAH BAKERY IN HEBREW SCHOOLS This is one of the most successful examples of the JDC's cooperative spirit. Over 1,500 children and teachers were treated to a most enjoyable educational experience. Every Hebrew School - as well as the Park School and a Public Elementary School - was provided with a Matzah baking demonstration, showing the art of Baking Matzah the way it was done by our ancestors in ancient times. For next year we hope to bring this experience to many more public and private schools.

SHEMURAH MATZAH DISTRIBUTION Not all Matzah was created equal. There is machine baked Matzah and there is hand baked Shemurah Matzah. The JDC distributed hundreds of packets of Shemurah Matzah to members of the Jewish community, to introduce everyone to the beautiful custom of eating the hand made, round and specially guarded Shemurah Matzah. Among the recipients of the Shemurah Matzah were the residents of the Weinberg Campus.

SALE OF CHAMETZ Passover is when we eat Matzah and we also get rid of Chametz. Traditionally, the owner of the Chametz would lock all of it in a secure place and then go to the rabbi who would act as his agent to sell it to a non-Jew so that one would not be in possession of the Chametz for Passover. the JDC provides this service. Just send in the form distributed to the entire Jewish community so that it comes to the JDC several days before Passover.

COMMUNAL SEDER The Seder is a time for family. The JDC's notion of extended family is anyone who does not have a seder to attend is welcome at the JDC. Really feel the Egyptian bondage and the exodus from Egypt as something of the present.

PASSOVER SERVICES AND MEALS "Whoever is hungry, may he come and eat" is not only said on the seder at the JDC, but is in effect for every meal of every day of Passover. Together with an opportunity to daven with other Jews to uplift the spirit there is ample food for the body as well.

LAST DAY OF PASSOVER CELEBRATION Passover is an eight day celebration. In Chassidic circles we celebrate the very last day as we do the first. The meal eaten at the end of the Festival is called "Moshiach's Meal." The Ba'al Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, whose custom it was to eat this meal, intended it to be our way of living not only with the past, but to experience a taste of the future Redemption as well. The JDC conducts a full meal with "Four Cups of Wine." Everyone welcome!

LAG B'OMER PICNIC Lag B'omer is not one of the most well publicized holidays. But, that does not mean that it is not an important and meaningful one. As most Holidays, Lag B'omer focuses on the children. The JDC sponsors an annual picnic with games and rides for the entire family.

SHAVUOT SERVICES AND ICE CREAM AND PIZZA PARTY Shavuot is a holiday when we eat dairy foods and we gather children together to help them appreciate their pivotal role in the receiving of the Torah. At the JDC we combine the two by having a pizza and ice cream party for the children.

ROSH CHODESH GATHERINGS FOR WOMEN Close to fifty women (an the number is growing) gather once every month to celebrate Jewish womanhood on Rosh Chodesh the traditional women's holiday at different homes under the auspicious of the JDC.

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