Holiday festivities delight the Bloomfield community

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield held its annual holiday tree lighting at Town Hall this past Monday evening, Dec. 5. The festivities, which drew a large and diverse crowd of township residents, were hosted by Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Department Director Michael L. Sceurman, who punctuated his duties with updates of Santa’s location and expected time of arrival. Mayor Michael Venezia made a brief introduction of council members, notably Councilwoman Wartyna Davis, who spoke about Kwanzaa and the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Bloomfield Day of Service. Rabbi Marc Katz, of Temple Ner Tamid, spoke about Hanukkah and sang a lovely tune. Song was also provided by Bloomfield Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and the Bloomfield High School concert choir. These two groups nearly covered the steps of Town Hall.

Davis said that, on Jan. 14, MLK Jr. Day of Service volunteers would paint a mural at Carteret Elementary School, resuming the traditional beautification activity for this day, which was suspended due to the pandemic.

“We need lots of volunteers,” she said, adding that food drives would also be held.

Davis noted the pillars of Kwanzaa, the African American cultural celebration, observed Dec. 26 to Jan. 1: unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, economic cooperation, purpose, creativity and faith. 

Katz educated residents about Hanukkah, which is more than 2,000 years old. The holiday, which this year starts the evening of Dec. 18, tells the story of the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks and the reclaiming of the Temple.

“It was trashed,” Katz said, “and they cleaned it up.”

Although there was only enough candle oil for one day, it lasted for eight, he said.

“We must bring light into this world,” Katz said. “Everyone can be the candle to bring light into the world.”

He then sang.

Photos by Daniel Jackovino