By Alyssa Gorenberg, Director of MHWOW

With Judaism’s festival of lights and beloved winter holiday of Hanukkah just around the corner, we wanted to showcase some of the festivals our staff celebrates! During the next couple of months we have Christmas, Mizrahi Heritage month, and more. Check out some of their most favorite moments below and join everyone in celebrating their winter holidays!

Eastern Community Manager, Manashe Khaimov shared with us about Mizrahi Heritage Month…

“Did you know that November is Mizrahi Heritage month? A month dedicated to highlighting Mizrahi history and amplifying Mizrahi voices. To be exact, November 30th is considered to be an annual National Day of Commemoration for the 850,000 Jewish refugees who were displaced from Arab countries and Iran in the 20th century after the establishment of the state of Israel. The way I celebrate this holiday is by being available in the month of November to educate Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish communities about this day in addition to the Jewish community at large. For me, presenting on various college campuses and community centers is the greatest way to celebrate my heritage. Embark on the journey by taking your first step this November by watching movies, reading books, or hearing me speak on this topic.”

For me, every year, my roommate and I host a Friendsgiving celebration. Friendsgiving is a U.S. tradition that was born from our holiday Thanksgiving that is meant for us to have a Thanksgiving celebration, which involves tons of food and expressions of gratitude, but with our chosen family rather than our given a.k.a. our friends! It sounds kind of silly and also just an excuse to binge mac and cheese, but for me, it has become synonymous with warmth and community.

“This picture is from my 2019 Friendsgiving MHWOW program where I packed more than 30 people together for a potluck meal, deep conversation, and pure joy. If you are looking to bring a Friendsgiving or gratitude style program, check out these resources from a previous MHWOW Schmoozeletter! This holiday brings so much light to my life and I am incredibly excited to be hosting once again this year!”

What other holidays do you celebrate this time of year? Share with us in the MHWOW Facebook group, on Instagram, or however, you want to brag about your #moishemoment