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Marin kids open Hanukkah with menorah workshop in San Rafael 12/6/2015

Marin kids open Hanukkah with menorah workshop in San Rafael 12/6/2015

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Marin kids open Hanukkah with menorah workshop in San Rafael

By Janis Mara, Marin Independent Journal 12/6/2015

Sophie Barkin, 6, dabbed orange paint on the wooden menorah she had just put together Sunday, impervious to the pounding of hammers, the cacophony of conversation and the strains of “Oh Chanukah” surrounding her.

“I like painting,” said the Kentfield resident, decked out in rain boots with pink and fuchsia hearts and a bright orange shop apron, the latter courtesy of The Home Depot.

About 150 children built menorahs at a free event presented by the store and the Chabad Jewish Center of Novato.

“They staple the base onto the top of the menorah and put hex nuts on the top to hold the candles,” said Mistie Silveira, the assistant store manager. “I love seeing the kids and the parents interacting. Everyone has been having fun.”

The San Rafael store donated the materials and a good portion of Aisle 21, the main lumber aisle, for the event.

Hanukkah is observed, in part, by lighting candles in the menorah, one light on each of the eight nights of the holiday. The holiday, known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians.

Alexa Hyman, 2, of Tiburon, sat on an overturned orange 5-gallon Home Depot bucket concentrating on gluing the hex nuts to the top of the menorah.

“Hanukkah starts tonight. She will put a little candle in it (the menorah),” said her mom, Dana Hyman.

Amelia Sharpe, 12, painted a black bird with wings outstretched against a pink background on her menorah as the Dreidel Song played on the loudspeaker.

“We’re here because we’re Jewish and we love being Jewish,” said Lisa Michael, who was overseeing her 3-year-old son Samuel as he painstakingly spelled out his name in white letters on his menorah. “Whether he’s 3, 13 or 33, it’s important to keep the Jewish traditions in the family.”

Samuel was wearing his heart, or at least his enthusiasms, on his sleeve; he was decked out in a black “Junior Firefighter” parka and wearing a plastic replica firefighter hat at a jaunty angle.

Likely the youngest participant on Sunday was Asher Siva, age one month, who accompanied parents Natalie and Max and sibling Maddox, 4, to the event. Maddox, who made a menorah last year in a similar Chabad event, held a hand up to the menorah base to leave a handprint.

Rabbi Menachem Landa jumped on top of an orange bucket to address the crowd, unfazed by the sound of hammering.

“The banging you hear is the power and force of our children to build our future,” the rabbi told the crowd. “Bring those Jewish values into your home

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