Including several people from Burbank, about 40 to 50 members of
Congregation Hugat Haverim -- which Berg's mother, Jacqueline Gish, said
means "circle of friends" -- attended the dinner and the formal Hanukkah
services that followed.
Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah commemorates the victory of
the Jews over the Hellenist Syrians in 165 B.C. and the subsequent
reclaiming of their synagogue in Jerusalem.
According to the Talmud, the body of Jewish oral law, when it came
time to rededicate the Temple there was only enough suitable oil to fuel
Temple lights for one day. But the lights burned bright for for eight
Thusly, the lighting of the menorah is the symbol of this miracle.
But the gathering of friends and family is as significant amiracle to
Karen Berg as the religious and cultural significance of the holiday.
"[Lighting of the menorah] gives me a chance to reflect on the last 17
years I've spent with family and friends," she said.