Preparations for the Augusta Jewish Community Center’s annual Hanukkah latke and salmon dinner begin early, with volunteers preparing desserts and other dishes days in advance.
“The Hanukkah dinner has been in existence for as long as anyone can remember,” said Leah Ronen, the executive director of the 158-year-old AJCC.
This year’s dinner will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at the AJCC’s Weinberger Way campus in Evans, off Furys Ferry Road. Reservations must be made by Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Previous years’ events have seen close to 200 diners, which is why reservations are required. However, Community Program Director Lynda Jaremski said they’ll make room for everyone.
“We prefer that tickets are purchased in advance so that we have an idea of how many to cook for,” Jaremski said. “However, no one will be turned away at the door.”
Early on the morning of the event, volunteers meet up to prepare and cook the latkes.
“The salmon has been prepared by Leah for as long as I’ve been here,” said Jaremski. “Leah also makes a yummy chocolate cake each year which she decorates with either dreidels or a menorah. Other volunteers prepare the side dishes, such as green bean casseroles.”
Guests will be entertained by the Augusta Jewish Community Sunday School children, as well as a sing-along and solos from Rabbi David Sirull of Adas Ueshurun Synagogue.
“We will again have a contest for homemade menorahs with prizes being awarded for the most unusual, most traditional and most creative use of materials,” Jaremski said. “We ask attendees to bring their household menorah with them as we do have a candle lighting ceremony. However, if someone does not have a menorah to bring with them, we do have menorahs available at the Center.”
Tickets are available to both members and non-members. Members pay $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 4 to 12 or a $35 family maximum. Guests pay $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 4 to 12 or a $50 family maximum. Children under the age of 3 eat for free.
For more information or to RSVP, call the Augusta Jewish Community Center at (706) 228-3636 by Tuesday, Dec. 4.