Pasadena's got a church just about everywhere you look. They're in brightly painted houses obtrusive and un, strewn throughout residential neighborhoods and business districts, competing for attention with liquor stores, shopping malls and each other. If you're a Christian, by gosh by golly and by God, we've got whatever you need.
If you're a Jew I hope you can find a home in one of two local synagogues which, as far as I can tell, go quietly about the business of worship, service and Pasadena life.
I realize Chanukah isn't the biggest Jewish holiday, but not everybody's a Christian. So I always hope for signs of acknowledgment that Christmas isn't the only thing going on in December. I've seen a couple of small, shiny store displays of Chanukah candles and paper plates--attempts at appeasement, if you ask me. I hoped to photograph something better for today. I remembered seeing this menorah last year in the parking lot of Chabad of Pasadena at the corner of Walnut and Wilson. I was lucky. It was there last night. I hope they light a big candle in it tonight.
The Pasadena Jewish Temple has Hanukkah services today. Chabad of Pasadena will host a Family Chanukah Celebration at City Hall on Sunday from 3-5 PM.
The best Chanukah/Hanukkah gift I can give you is a visit to Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo. There you'll find Dina, a Jewish transplant from my old stomping grounds in Chicago (whom I met on the web), living a life of study and generous open-mindedness one doesn't expect to find, especially in the Middle East. Dina works on archaeological digs, most recently in Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Think of the things she touches, right there where the ancients walked. They were just like us and we will one day be just like them.
A couple of updates from Ann Erdman, Pasadena's Public Information Officer:
Lamanda Park Branch Library (140 S. Altadena Dr.) will host Chanukah fun and festivities with musician/singer Shulamir Rosner on Monday, Dec. 14, at 3:30 p.m.
There will be a Christmas tree-lighting celebration at La Pintoresca Branch Library (1355 N. Raymond Ave.) today at 5 p.m. and Allendale Branch Library (1130 S. Marengo Ave.) Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
La Pintoresca Branch Library will host a Kwanzaa celebration with tasty dishes prepared by members of the Pasadena Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority on Monday, Dec. 18, at 10 a.m.
Ann adds further:
By the way, there's a wonderful exhibit in the Children's Room at Pasadena Central Library featuring origami designs created by the community of students from Weizmann Day School (Jewish), Saint Mark's School (Episcopal) and New Horizon School (Muslim) as part of an ongoing relationship of respect and fellowship. Everyone can marvel at the display through Dec. 31.