Avila, the Capital Region’s premier retirement community for seniors seeking an active lifestyle, will host a Hanukkah Songfest on the fourth day of Judaism’s Festival of Lights, Monday, Dec. 11 beginning at 3 p.m. in the Community Great Room. Musical selections will be led by Cantor Emily H. Short from the Beth Emeth congregation on Academy Road in Albany. Representatives from local Christian churches and Avila residents will join the celebration and sing traditional songs of the season in observance of Hanukkah.
Approximately 80 residents of diverse religious backgrounds are expected to attend the interfaith holiday event, which marks its third year. Songfest will celebrate the history and heritage of the Jewish community while sharing with residents how different faiths celebrate the holiday in song. Of the nearly seven dozen residents who participate each year, an overwhelming majority are Christian in faith.
“The Hanukkah Songfest has become a cherished tradition here at Avila and is as much a cultural celebration as it is a holiday event for our residents,” said Avila CEO Kathleen A. Richards. “All who participate in the annual Songfest come away with a greater sense of community and a deeper understanding of how our religious differences unite us through song.”
Maxine Koblenz, a long-time Jewish resident of Avila, has coordinated Hanukkah Songfest since its inception. She routinely lobbies for activities and events at the Avila Community that resound with her faith.
“I find it truly gratifying to serve in this capacity and have been told by many of my neighbors in this community that Hanukkah Songfest is a poignant yet joyful reminder of how we all need each other, in good times and bad,” Koblenz said. “I believe the hymns that celebrate our religions can help bridge great divides.”
The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah will begin at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 7 and will conclude on Friday, Dec. 15.
Jelly doughnuts and other refreshments will be served during the Hanukkah Songfest at Avila.
Avila is the Capital Region’s premier retirement community for seniors seeking an active lifestyle. Situated near the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Avila offers luxury, all-inclusive, maintenance-free living for active seniors. Residents enjoy spacious, high-quality and private one-or-two- bedroom apartments and cottage-style townhouses with customizable features.