"CKHS celbrates Hanakah, too"

"Many Jewish students in the Central Kitsap School District are bombarded by portraits of Santa Claus and Christian images during the holidays, while Jewish traditions and rituals go unobserved. So this year, Central Kitsap High School librarian Karyn Lackman decided to incorporate more diversity into an exhibit in the library.“Really, my hope is to be really inclusive in this library. ... And represent another segment of our community,” Lackman said.In doing so, Lackman contacted Sari Perlow, mother of a Jewish student at CKHS.“Christmas is a really fun holiday with goodwill and joy but it’s the only one in school,” Perlow said. “And, it’s hard because lots of other people don’t celebrate it.“Hanukkah is a very minor holiday in Judaism. Everybody thinks (Hanukkah) is the Jewish Christmas but it’s really a fight for religious freedom.”But since non-Jews have this misconception, Perlow said the holidays are a time when people are more apt to have an open mind about Judaism.“The bottom line is the more you know, the more you’re comfortable with. ... Things don’t appear so different and strange,” Perlow said.Perlow put together the display in hopes of educating students and CKHS staff. Along with Hanukkah, Perlow added Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Passover, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Sukkot and Sabbath. “I wanted to show (Judaism) at its most basic form,” Perlow said.Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights, the eight-day commemoration of the re-dedication of the Temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians during the Jewish month of Kislev. The holiday commonly is thought to fall in the month of December, but sometimes Hanukkah comes in late November. Judaism follows the Lunar calendar, keeping fall holidays in fall and spring holidays in spring.“One of the things we’re trying to do in school is raise the knowledge base of all the constituents,” said Jay Jackson, a teacher at CKHS. Perlow said due to similarities in both celebration and time of year, Hanukkah has adopted some rituals similar to Christmas. She said gift giving and sending cards are relatively new.“I’ve had a lot of people stop at the display,” Lackman said. “The response as been uniformally positive.”Community members are welcome to come to the library to see the display, but they must check in at the main office before heading to the library.“People usually take 10-15 minutes at the display,” Lackman said. “Some people come back.”"

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