It was the fourth night of Hanukkah, and around the room at the Hebrew Center, people lit their candles, one for each day. One, two, three, four. Or maybe it was eyn, tsvey, dray, fir, as the Yiddish language says. Maybe una, dos, tres, kuatro as in the Judeo-Spanish language, Ladino. All traditions were included during Friday’s celebration. 

The same was true of the music. The Klezmer Conservatory Band Ensemble, visiting from Somerville, was on hand to perform klezmer music along with folk songs and Hanukkah favorites like Dreidel, Dreidel and the tango-infused Ocho Kandelikas.
Ljuba Davis’ fourth grade Hebrew Center class performed a Hanukkah rap drawing applause and cheers. 
Sasha Kagan, Jakie Glasgow, Sammie Foults, Mateo Darack and Jack Crawford perform a Hanukkah rap. — Ivy Ashe
Purim may be fun
And on Passover we eat
But the happiness of Hanukkah
Can’t be beat. 
Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the holy temple in Jerusalem, after the Maccabee army defeated the Seleucids, who had outlawed Judaism, in the second century B.C.E. During the rededication, a single day’s supply of oil burned for eight days.
Rabbi Caryn Broitman asked why the Maccabees’ story was still being told after so many years. After all, she said, “The Maccabees already won. They’re not around anymore to say ‘Mazel Tov!’ to.” 
Someone offered up that it was tradition. That was true, Ms. Broitman said. But she also spoke of the ongoing need to fight for freedom. She referred to the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement as a current and ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.
A memorial prayer was offered before the potluck meal began. People said out loud the names of loved ones who had passed. 
And then plates of food began to emerge from the kitchen, including Hanukkah latkes, and bowls of applesauce and sour cream. 
“It’s so much more fun to celebrate when we’re all together,” Ms. Broitman said.