Chanukah 2006

Celebration will feature very cool menorah


December 16, 2006

James Luff carved a swan out of ice for the movie “Beverly Hills Cop” and made a mermaid for “Dragnet.”

His glass-like pieces appeared in “Action Jackson” and “Exit to Eden.” Now he's bringing his ice art to the Oceanside Civic Center Library.

Luff is building a 5-foot-tall menorah for a Hanukkah celebration tomorrow, which is being hosted by the Chabad Jewish Center of Oceanside in the library's community room. The event is open to the public.

“The menorah is a symbol of freedom of religion,” said Rabbi Baruch Greenberg, director of the Chabad Jewish Center of Oceanside. “It's about the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.”

Luff has modeled the giant sculpture after a large, silver menorah Greenberg has at the center.

What: Hanukkah celebration hosted by Chabad Jewish Center of Oceanside

When: 3 p.m. tomorrow

Where: Oceanside Civic Center Library community room, 330 N. Coast Highway

Cost: $7

Information: (760) 806-7765 or www.jewish

“I want to put in a lot of detail, like the engraved designs on the menorah,” Luff said.

He is doing most of the work in a freezer near his Orange County studio and will be driving pieces in his van to Oceanside, where they will be reassembled.

Luff plans to leave some of the detailed sculpting for the celebration so people can watch him work.

“I've seen a lot of menorahs, but I've never seen one made out of ice,” said Freddi Pakier, who plans to volunteer at the event.

The afternoon will conclude with the lighting of the menorah, an integral part of Hanukkah.

The holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the victory of the Maccabees and commemorates the Miracle of the Oil.

Ruth Mastron will bring plenty of oil to the celebration for frying batches of doughnuts and other traditional Hanukkah treats.

Hot potato pancakes will be served at the latke bar, and a contest will be held to see who can build the best menorah out of food.

“People can experience what Hanukkah is about. They'll eat the food, light the candles and hear the stories,” Pakier said.

Pakier is setting up a Judaic gift shop for guests to buy presents, such as menorahs, candlesticks, wine cups and tzedakah boxes.

Proceeds from the shop's sales will benefit the Chabad Jewish Center of Oceanside, which reaches out to the North County community through Shabbat services and dinners, adult education, a Hebrew school and holiday programs.

“It'll help them continue the good work they're doing,” Pakier said.

 Linda McIntosh: (760) 752-6756;