This past Sunday, December 11th, at 9:15 AM, the Asheville Jewish Community Center on Charlotte Street held a community-wide celebration of the upcoming 8-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. Both male and female runners and walkers of all ages participated. There were close to 100 participants from mid twenties to even 80’s (Jack Shirley of Asheville). The 8K race course was run in the neighborhood, starting and ending at the Jewish Community Center.
It was a cool sunny 28 degree day for the race. The distance was close to five miles. Victor McHenry, age 32, won the race with a time of 29:39 minutes, and Daniel Valdez of East Flat Rock came in second.
The event is a community-wide celebration of the upcoming 8-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. Proceeds of the JCC Hanukkah 8K will benefit Shalom Children’s Center. In acknowledgement of the giving season, a portion of the proceeds will also be donated to Eblen Charities to help provide emergency assistance to those in the community needing help with their winter fuel costs. The Hanukkah story tells us that long ago, while the Jewish people celebrated the restoration of the temple of Jerusalem, they lit an oil lamp with only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, the lamp burned for eight days. Through the JCC Hanukkah 8K, we are proud to support Eblen Charities in their effort to “keep the oil burning” for those in need during the cold winter months.
In conjunction with the Hanukkah 8K, there was a kids’ race: the Latke Loop, Kid’s run-a-thon, which started at 8:30 AM where kids were challenged to run 8 laps around the JCC parking lot. So, What’s a latke, you ask? A latke is a fried potato pancake traditionally eaten on Hanukkah. Those kids that raised $25 or more in pledges received a t-shirt.