The dining hall at Our Place was stuffed Thursday afternoon as patrons lined up for a special latke lunch to celebrate Hanukkah.
The shredded-potato main was served with soup and salad, and took 50 kilograms of potatoes, 15 litres of sour cream, 100 litres of vegetable soup and 50 heads of lettuce to serve the anticipated 450 recipients. The meal was put together by volunteers from the Avodah Social Action Group of Congregation Emanu-El.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said patron Roberta Touchie. “I was asking for the recipe because I think it’s just awesome, so much flavour.”
The meal is one of several special holiday meals coming up this month, with many people also anticipating the turkey dinner on Christmas Eve.
“I love December, you get fed well,” Touchie added.
Along with the celebratory food there was a live Eastern European style band called the Klezbians, the lighting of a menorah, and a dreidel board for patrons to play with, with the possibility of winning gift cards.
“It’s a chance for us to take some of our own culture and share it with people that we share with anyway,” said Rabbi Harry Brechner. “And, it’s fun.”
For some patrons, seeing the celebrations was an introduction to Jewish culture.
“I must confess my ignorance to the Jewish tradition,” said Paul Fenje. “But I think it’s a remarkable exposition of an introduction to their beliefs, their willingness to share and participate– and they are quite musical!”