A Hanukkah Festival is on tap Sunday, Dec. 4, from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at the Levin Jewish Community Center, 1937 W. Cornwallis Road in Durham.
Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, actually begins on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at sundown, but the festival is planned to help families make plans for its celebration.
Among Sunday's events are storytelling by Rachel Galper and a Israeli-style "shuk" or marketplace where holiday gifts will be sold.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own dreidels for the world-record-breaking dreidel spin tournament to be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. To break the record, 575 dreidels all spinning at the same time are needed. Other activities include making "sufganiot" or Hanukkah donuts with the Israel Center and sitting and enjoying or dancing to Freylach Time's bluegrass Klezmer music. Tickets are $3 per person for members of the center and $5 per person for potential members. The maximum per family is $20. To register, call the Welcome Center at 354-4936.Choir flash-mobs mall
Shoppers at Durham's Northgate Mall were treated to a bit of unexpected Christmas music when a flash mob of 50 to 60 singers from the Duke Chapel Choir turned up in the food court after church last Sunday.
Some flash mobs have been escorted out when they brought different kinds of surprises to malls across the country, but that was not the case for this talented bunch of dedicated musical chapel-goers.
Their director Rodney Wynkoop had made previous arrangement with Northgate honchos ahead of time and when the introductory music to Handel's Messiah began, singers who were eating lunch and seated all about the food court stood and sang the Hallelujah Chorus.
Karen Witzleben, a member of the choir and president of the Congregation at Duke Chapel, said that after the initial shock, other folks eating lunch began to get out their phone cameras and some even sang along.
"We were facing in different directions but I think people could hear all four parts because of the openness of the food court. We were not in sections, but were split up like we typically do during Messiah," she said.
"For me, it fed my spirit and made me want to do it again. It made me thankful for such gorgeous music and for choir members. We are like family and were doing this for other families. It felt joyous and wonderful," she said.
These folks did not need a musical score, for some of them have sung in the annual Messiah concert, a long-standing and beloved tradition at Duke Chapel, many times over the years. The concert, in which the full choir of about 100 will be joined by a professional orchestra and soloists, is set for Dec. 2-4.
Tickets are on sale at tickets. duke.edu
. General admission is $15. Duke students are free and admission for other students is $5. The Friday performance is at 7:30 p.m., the one on Saturday at 2 p.m. and the one on Sunday at 3 p.m.Take and Wear to open
The Take and Wear Clothes Closet at Lystra Baptist Church will be open on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Anyone needing clothes is welcome. There is no advantage to arriving before 8:45 a.m. since numbers are drawn to determine the order in which people may shop. Each family can get two bags of clothes and everything is free.
The church is located at 686 Lystra Road.Church holds quilt show
Hillsborough Presbyterian Church will hold its Annual Quilt Show and Craft Sale on Sunday, Dec. 4, from noon to 5 p.m. in Strudwich Hall at the church. Heirloom quilts as well as others recently completed will be on display. Quilted table runners, bags, wall hangings and more will be offered for sale. Beads for Life products will be available. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.
The latest creation of the quilting group at the church lives up to its name, "Sunset Mountains." A centerpiece of appliqued flowers is encircled by symmetrical shapes reminiscent of mountains. Glowing reds and yellows of autumn alternate with the cool blues and greens of summer and all four colors intermingle in the print border that swirls around the sides of the queen/king size quilt.Sales of raffle tickets for the quilt will help support an annual mission work trip to improve the lodging of a poor rural family. "We work in the mountains at Sunset Gap, Tenn., and our mission quilts raise money for the trip," said Karoline Mathewson, one of the quilters.Holiday Shoppe show set
St. Thomas More School, 920 Carmichael St., will hold its annual Christmas Holiday Shoppe craft show on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the new Friends and Family Hall at St. Thomas More Church.
Shoppers can enjoy one-stop shopping. Sixty talented artisans and crafters from throughout North Carolina will have items for sale. The vast array of unique handmade gifts and specialty items will include holiday ornaments and decorations, jewelry, pottery, quilts, knitted accessories, garden art, paper crafts and children's items.
The holiday shoppe also includes a raffle, baked goods for sale, live musical entertainment, the Candy Cane Coffee Bar and the Reindeer Cafe serving a hot lunch.
Proceeds will benefit St. Thomas More School and the enrichment of its educational programs.Gospel concert setThe United Voices of Praise, the joint gospel choir of United Church of Chapel Hill and Fisher Memorial United Holy Church of Durham, will sing a Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m. at Fisher Memorial. The church is located on the corner of Fayetteville and Piedmont streets in Durham.