Village at Willow Crossings Kicks Off Hanukkah with Temple Chayai Salom

Senior woman and young girl doing arts and crafts

The first day of Hanukkah on Dec. 2 was celebrated with much fanfare at The Village at Willow Crossings assisted living and memory care in Mansfield, Mass. Over 100 people attended the Children’s Magical Hanukkah Party, an inaugural celebration held at the community and conducted with Easton’s Temple Chayai Shalom. The event was aimed at educating both kids and adults alike about the holiday’s traditions while celebrating and having fun over this joyous occasion.

While children from 3 to 10 participated in a variety of activities, Willow Crossings residents and families hosted them in the community’s ice cream parlor. Edible and stained-glass dreidels were constructed, a beanbag toss used handcrafted latkes in place of bean bags, traditional Hanukkah shapes were made using playdough, dreidel games were played, and magician Derek Raposo entertained with magic tricks and sleight of hand. Attendees also enjoyed a variety of traditional Jewish foods.

“Seeing everyone having fun and laughing over shared, time-honored traditions was heart-warming!” says Jill Flores-Cordon, programming director for The Village at Willow Crossings. “Temple Chayai Shalom shares our commitment to community, and we came together over shared interests to elevate human connection and connect to what matters most – family.”

Intergenerational programming is something the community especially fosters, having seen first-hand the tremendous benefits for both children and adults. “This was a very special event for all our residents because they were thrilled to work closely with the kids, and many of them even learned a lot in the process,” says Willow Crossings executive director, Anne DeMinico.

Many of the children developed special connections with the residents, including 6-year-old Olivia Rosen. She won a prize at one of the event tables and gifted it to one of the community’s 97-year-old residents who had recently moved to Willow Crossings.

“This event was a huge success, and we hope to make it an annual one,” says Flores-Cordon.

The Village at Willow Crossings