Chanukah Happening Transforms Rivertown Village


The charming Rivertown village of Irvington, with its sweeping views of the Hudson River from picturesque Main Street, is the kind of place that — decked out in its customary December decorations — could easily pose for a Currier & Ives holiday card.

On Sunday, Dec. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m., the village will be transformed into a festive and immersive Chanukah Village, thanks to the efforts of Chabad of the Rivertowns and the cooperation of village officials and merchants. The afternoon’s program is open to the entire community, as well as the larger Westchester community, with a focus on family-friendly activities.

Among the planned events are latke making (and eating); an olive-oil demonstration; a balloon artist; a Chanukah musical performance/storytime with Irvington’s “Marc the Music Man” at the Irvington Public Library; a science-focused Fire and Ice Show; a dreidel tournament; a Chanukah photo booth; a 3-D printing demonstration; a Chanukah arts and crafts and various games.

There will also be a community-wide menorah lighting with local dignitaries, including State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

“The town and local storekeepers have been very accommodating,” said Rabbi Benjy Silverman of Chabad of the Rivertowns. “They’re happy to host. The village administration has been easy to work with.”

Usually the participating stores are closed Sundays, but are “opening up just for this event,” said Rabbi Silverman. Chabad of the Rivertowns decided to open the pop-up Chanukah Wonderland storefront in Irvington this year.

“Many young Jewish families have moved into Irvington in recent years,” said Rabbi Silverman. “This is a way to engage the entire Jewish community in a beautiful setting. They’re getting a taste of Chanukah, and taking something away about it. It’s a great educational experience for the whole community.”