Today’s news:

Borough residents gear up for Hanukkah celebrations

Hanukkah is early this year, so don’t miss out on these celebrations happening in your neighborhood:

• Hillcrest Jewish Center, at 183-02 Union Tnpk., will be lighting a menorah candle beginning Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 8.

• Forest Hills Jewish Center, at 106-06 Queens Blvd., will hold a Hanukkah Candle Lighting Celebration for members and families of Nursery School Children Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Heller Family Ballroom. Everyone is welcome to join in the songs and enjoy latkes and, of course, there will be dreidels for the kids. Call 718-263-7000 to reserve a spot.

• Bellerose Jewish Center, at 254-04 Union Tnpk. in Floral Park, will host an event not typically associated with Hanukkah: caberet. Club Chanukah Cabaret will feature rocking rabbis, contemporary music, opera and show tunes Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12. For more information, visit

• It is the largest menorah in Queens. And the monster menorah will be set ablaze twice Dec. 5. Once at the Chabad of Eastern Queens, at 211-05 Union Tnpk. in Hollis Hills, at the end of a daylong event running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (accompanied by a fire juggling show), and then at the Bay Terrace Mall at 26th Avenue and Bell Boulevard at 6 p.m.

• The Samuel Field Y, at 58-20 Little Neck Pkwy., is holding a Hanukkah celebration for the whole family Dec. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Kids can play games and participate in arts and crafts and there will be a menorah lighting, snacks, live entertainment, a program about summer camp and more. The event is free, but a donation is suggested.

• The holiday season doesn’t have to be cold and dreary — check out the Chanukah Hawaiian Beach Party and Fund-raiser at the Whitestone Hebrew Centre, at 12-25 Clintonville St., Dec. 5 beginning at 4 p.m. There will be beach volleyball, DJs, kosher pizza, latkes and an arts and crafts table. But it wouldn’t be a party without a menorah-lighting celebration and sing-along. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids. Call 718-767-1500 for reservations.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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