Festival of Lights

Seniors at KleinLife joined students from Ann Kids to mark the beginning of Hanukkah.

Pictured are (at left, from left) Marci Lyons-DiCamillo, David Sigal, Alexandra Breyman and Shelley Geltzer. JOHN COLE / TIMES PHOTOS

On the morning of Dec. 12, hours before Hanukkah began at sundown, senior members of KleinLife joined students from Ann Kids for a special intergenerational candle lighting of a holiday menorah to signal the beginning of the eight-day-long Jewish Festival of Lights.

The seniors and students congregated around the menorah to officially kick off the holiday.

Shelley Geltzer, program director of Adult Active Life at KleinLife, 10100 Jamison Ave., coordinated the event. She asked Marci Lyons-DiCamillo to join her in lighting the menorah this year.

Lyons-DiCamillo’s father, Dan Lyons, was an active participant in a multitude of programs at KleinLife. He died last year. Lyons was well known for engaging in the intergenerational events, so Geltzer thought it was only right that his daughter was present to help light the menorah in his memory.

As Lyons-DiCamillo lit the candle, those in attendance sang Sivivon Sov Sov Sov and Maoz Tzur. Geltzer recognized that the children may not be as familiar with those songs, so they also sang the popular Hanukkah song, Dreidel.

David Sigal and Alexandra Breyman, kindergarteners from Ann Kids, based at KleinLife, went to the front to partake in the lighting of the menorah.

Embracing tradition: Alexandra Breyman, a kindergartener from Ann Kids, lights the menorah at KleinLife on Dec. 12. JOHN COLE / TIMES PHOTOS

The yearly tradition of the intergenerational candle lighting really brightens up the days of the seniors, said Stephanie Hampson, marketing director at KleinLife.

“Intergenerational programs are truly loved by the seniors that participate. For this particular program, it shows the passing on of Jewish tradition. And seeing the joy that it brings to a child puts a big smile on any senior’s face,” she said. “On these types of programs in general, it allows a senior to feel like they have a greater impact on the younger generations and that their story/experience will live on through them.”

At the conclusion of the lighting, some of the seniors went into a larger room in the building to participate in eating some of the traditional Hanukkah foods.

Each day during the week, another candle on the holiday menorah was lit at 11:30 a.m. until the holiday is over on Dec. 20. ••

John Cole can be reached at JCole@bsmphilly.com