Local events to celebrate Hanukkah season

A variety of activities are planned to celebrate Hanukkah-the Festival of Lights in Manatee and Sarasota:

n Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch menorah-lighting celebration at Lakewood Ranch Main Street 6:30 p.m. today. Information: (941) 752-3030.

n Temple Beth El, 4200 32nd St. W., Bradenton, will hold its annual Family Hanukkah, pot luck and menorah lighting celebration 6 p.m. Friday.

The community is invited. Information: 755-4900.

n Congregation Ner Tamid, 3817 40th Ave. W., invites the community as hundreds of menorah candles are lit at 6 p.m. Friday. Afterward, there will be food and progressive games. Participants are asked to bring a donation of food for Jewish Family and Children’s Services. RSVP at (941) 755-1231.

n Downtown Bradenton menorah-lighting is set for 6 p.m. Sunday outside near Manatee Players, organized by Temple Beth El. Religious school children from Temple Beth El and from Congregation Ner Tamid will join together to perform Hanukkah songs.

n Temple Sinai, 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota, will have a Festival of Lights dinner at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 3 after the 6 p.m. Erev Shabbat Service. The cost for member adults is $18, member children younger than 13, free. Temple families, $40. Nonmembers $21, nonmember children younger than 13, $8. Reservations must be made no later than Nov. 28. Information: Phyllis Labinger at 758-3802.

n For the fourth year, five local Jewish organizations are co-sponsoring a Hanukkah party for interfaith families. This year’s party is slated for 5-7 p.m. Saturday at Bounce U, 1925 Northgate Blvd., Sarasota. Sponsors include Temple Emanu-El, Jewish Family & Children’s Service, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Genealogical Society, and B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, as well as the Warren Foundation. Information or to RSVP: (941) 379-1997. There is a charge of $10 per family for RSVPs received by Dec. 2; at-the-door admission is $20 per family.

n Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota, has its annual “Hanukkah Happening” at 6 p.m. Friday. This celebration of the Festival of Lights features a dinner of homemade brisket, chicken, salad, roasted vegetables, rolls and latkes; children’s crafts and activities; a menorah-making contest with prizes for all entrants; and a visit from Hanukkah hero Judah the Maccabee, Information: (941) 748-8826.

n The National Council of Jewish Women Board members host a pot luck lunch and Cantor Harold Orbach sings and entertains in his own special style at noon Dec. 15. Bring a donation or a gift to support NCJW’s new volunteer project: Sarasota County Public School’s Cyesis Teen Parent Program, where students remain in school, have their babies, and graduate with plans for their future. RSVP by Dec. 13: (941) 342-1855.