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Religious, cultural celebrations many during holiday season

December 06, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

As Christians celebrate the Christmas holiday season, other congregations and organizations throughout the area will hold traditional religious and cultural celebrations.

In Hagerstown, Congregation B'nai Abraham, at 53 E. Baltimore St., will hold regular Sabbath services on Friday evenings through the end of the month. The synagogue's Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 services will begin at 6 p.m.

Rabbi Fred Raskind said members of the public who wish to visit during the holidays should call 301-733-5039 for worship times. The congregation's office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

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In Chambersburg, Pa., Congregation Sons of Israel, at 209 E. King St., will hold a latke (potato pancake) party and a children's play on Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. in observance of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday. The public is invited to the program, which also will include a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony, an organizer said.

The Hanukkah holiday will be observed Tuesday to Dec. 14. Weekly Sabbath services will be held on Friday evenings. Services on Friday and Dec. 17 will begin at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 services begin at 7 p.m.

Hanukkah, an eight-day celebration, recognizes an ancient war fought by Jews to obtain their religious freedom from their oppressors, said Lynne Newman, the synagogue's religious director.

For more information about services and other events, contact Newman at 717-263-2151.

Due to building maintenance problems, no religious services are being held at the Congregation Beth Jacob synagogue, at 126 W. Martin St. in Martinsburg, W.Va. For more information, contact synagogue secretary Jerry Kusner at 304-263-5148 for an updated schedule.

Kwanzaa celebrations also will take place this month throughout the Tri-State area.

The official period of observance is Dec. 26 to Jan 1.

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