I love Chanukah.

I love that the Chanukah story blends political narratives rooted in history and spiritual myths that lead us on a timeless journey. 

I love that we don't totally understand what happened in Judea in 167 BCE.  Outlawing Jewish practice would have been out of sync with the Hellenistic values and policies that encouraged cultural fusion, not suppression.  The full story must be more complicated than the tale we tell.

I love that the American Jewish experience has given Chanukah unprecedented prominence, because Jewish life is dynamic.  Modern life and Jewish wisdom are in dialogue.

I don't love how Chanukah has become a consumer holiday with so many presents, but I also enjoy the irony inherent in that reality.  Because at its core, Chanukah celebrates how beautifully powerful a small amount can be!

  • We celebrate how one small group of scrappy Jews somehow defeated the Greeks.
  • We celebrate how one small canister of oil lasted much longer than anyone would have guessed.
  • We celebrate on the darkest nights, and experience for ourselves how one small candle can bring so much light.

At Sanctuary, we're embracing how profound strength can be discovered in small containers.  We're even having two back-to-back Family Gatherings this Saturday in order to meet in a home setting with a small group of people.

When the scale of a gathering is small, we can really talk, learn about one another, and form solid connections.  When the size is small, we grow in depth.

May this year's festival of light bring us joy, insight and strength.  May we feel in our souls how beautifully powerful a small amount can be.

Happy Chanukah, 
Rabbi Bethie Miller

Family Gathering with PJ Library

Saturday, December 21st, 2-3:30p (4-5:30p is full!)
Private Home in Larchmont

We’ll make latkes and applesauce, share in a story and snack, and learn a few ways to spread light.  

Led by Rabbi Bethie Miller and Cooking Coach Amy Rosen.  Family Gatherings are designed for 4-6 year olds and their families.  Yes, that means siblings and grandparents can come, too! 

There are a couple of spots left.  Sign up here.

Circles starting Winter 2020

"Here All Along" Circle
Because sometimes we don't have to journey as far as we think to find what we seek.
5 Thursday evenings (January 9, 16, 23, 30 & Feb 6), 7:30-9:00p
Plus a Shabbat Dinner on Friday, February 28th.
Meetings @ The Grange in Larchmont.  Sign up here.

Family Cooking Circle
Because feeding one another is a spiritual practice.
3 Saturday afternoons (February 1, March 7 & April 4), 3-4:30p
Meetings @ Private Homes.  Sign-up details coming soon.

Becoming a Soulful Parent Circle*
Because our children are not the only ones growing and changing - we are, too!
4 Wednesday evenings (February 26, March 11, April 1 & April 22), 7:30-9:00p
Meetings @ Groove Family Music in Larchmont.  Sign-up details coming soon.

*Organized in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York

Support for Sanctuary

We are grateful for the early support we’ve received from UJA-Federation of New York, PJ Library, and personal donations. 

Sanctuary is a project of Beloved Builders Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization.


We all need Sanctuary, because we are only human.
We are wholly human, and we need each other to survive.