Did You Hear … ?

Welles Lane House Christmas 2015

Uploaded by Michael Dinan on 2015-12-22.

We got an inside tip to go check out the Griswold-worthy Christmas decorating that one spirited homeowner did at 54 Welles Lane. Wow (see video above). We’re hearing that this dedicated celebrant blew at least one circuit with all the lights, plus nine inflatables and more to see on the property—don’t miss it. ***

A “Match-A-Thon” online fundraising campaign launched Monday to benefit Chabad New Canaan Jewish Center already had passed the halfway mark toward a $54,000 goal by 10 p.m. Donor dollars are automatically tripled as part of the campaign, thanks to a general local (and anonymous) family, the campaign says. The online campaign continues through most of Tuesday.

The Lighting of New Canaan’s Menorah, a God’s Acre Tradition

At 6 p.m. Sunday a New Canaan tradition will continue, as families of all denominations as well as town dignitaries and clergy from the area will gather to celebrate Hanukkah atop God’s Acre with the annual lighting of the menorah. The first light of the menorah will shine Sunday evening to signify the start of the holiday, with another light to shine each night until the eighth light, representing the miracle of Hanukkah in which a small amount of oil burned for eight days and nights, helping a small band of Jews defeat the oppression of the Syrian Greeks in Israel. “Hanukkah is in many ways a celebration of religious freedom,” Rabbi Levi Mendelow of Chabad New Canaan said. “I think that here in America and in New Canaan, celebrating Hanukkah is an incredible thing because it is a place of incredible religious freedom. And the fact that the Jewish people are able to celebrate openly and happily in a community that welcomes it is really a very special thing and very meaningful.”

Chabad New Canaan Serves Town’s Growing, Diverse Jewish Community

Smiling wide, Rabbi Levi Mendelow on Sunday morning stepped to the front of this small room overlooking Morse Court and turned to the 16 seated New Canaan boys and girls who’d just finished their first year of Hebrew school here. “We’re very proud of you boys and girls in how much progress you have made in your studies, especially in your Hebrew reading,” Mendelow said during a short, laughter-filled ceremony attended by a handful of parents—the end of a successful pilot program that organizers are calling the first of its kind in New Canaan for a diverse, growing Jewish community that at some point will need a permanent physical location. “It’s about community and about being here in New Canaan, a growing Jewish community being able to celebrate their Judaism and participate in the full richness of Jewish life, here in town, as a community,” Mendelow said during an interview. Chabad New Canaan Jewish Center was formed four years ago under Mendelow and his wife, Michal, and it serves about 100 area families, most of them New Canaan residents, he said. Gathering at the New Canaan Nature Center for larger, high holiday services (“They’ve been amazing, the Nature Center,” Mendelow said), the center until about two months ago used space above 106 Main St.