Ice, Ice, Bubbe
Unleash the gigantic menorah!
Skating might not be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the Jewish Festival of Lights. But to Rabbi Berel Levertov of the Santa Fe Jewish Center, the connection is elemental and symbolic. “Fire and ice? It’s a natural fusion,” Levertov says with a laugh.
After all, Hanukkah is a Jew’s best chance to celebrate all things wintry while looking forward to the promise of coming warmth. Now in its 20th year, Chanukah on Ice takes the ancient story of Hebraic revolt into the rink. With a human-sized menorah allowing attendees to recreate the miracle of the Maccabees’ long-lasting lights, the event lets little ones participate in traditions they may or may not be familiar with while simultaneously having what Levertov refers to as “meaningful fun.”
And it’s clear this emphasis on enjoyment extends to the organizers themselves. When asked whether there’s a rotating group of skating rabbis responsible for lighting the menorah from year to year, Levertov replies, “No, I don’t like to give it up! I always want to do it myself.” But he does have some competition for the role: “Rabbi Levi is a professional ice skater, so…”
When participants need to refuel themselves, they’ll be treated to latkes and sufganiyot—a special kind of deep-fried jelly donut perfected over more than 1,000 years of recipe tweaking.
“The miracle happened with oil, which lasted eight days instead of one, so we eat oily foods,” Levertov explains. “With latkes and sufganiyot, you get the sweet and the salty.”
The rink will also feature plenty of Hanukkah-specific tunes to skate to (although this particular Jew can only think of the Adam Sandler song when imagining what that might entail). But ultimately, the real draw is that this is a program run by and for local families.
“My wife Devorah is the organizer. I just skate and slip.” Levertov confesses. But then again, isn’t that what being Jewish is all about? “We fall—and we get back up again. With that said, every goy and boy is more than welcome to join and enjoy, regardless of religion.” (Siena Sofia Bergt)
Chanukah on Ice: 4pm Thursday, Dec. 22. Free admission; $3 skate rental. Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 W Rodeo Road, (505) 983-2000
What’s more holiday than the strains of a real harp, golden in color and heavenly in tone? The Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s Winter Festival concerts feature guest musician Emily Levin of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as the group performs Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.” Levin’s delicate touch on the harp and the precise musical direction of Joshua Haberman makes the performance of the 1942 composition breathtaking. Plus, the concert’s other repertoire includes some lively Conrad Susa numbers; your “Oh, Holy Night” fix, with bass soloist Harrison Hintzsche; and, as is the tradition of the group, a version of “Oh Magnum Mysterium,” this year from composer Wayne Oquin, a faculty member at The Juilliard School. Just two performances remain! (Julie Ann Grimm)
Santa Fe Desert Chorale Winter Festival, A Ceremony of Carols: 7:30 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 21 and Thursday, Dec. 22. $20-$100. Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, 131 Cathedral Place, desertchorale.org
Show and Tell
If you read our 25 Things list, you already know we’re big Museum of Indian Arts and Culture fans around here. But the MIAC staff are particularly badass—and their behind-the-scenes artistry doesn’t always get time in the limelight. Luckily for us, curator of ethnology Tony Chavarria (Santa Clara Pueblo) and assistant curator Lillia McEnaney are holding office hours in the lobby to check out any jewelry pieces, weavings, pottery, etc. that you’d like to bring. While you’re there, you can take a peek at those new exhibits we’re raving about; but the chance to re-contextualize beloved pieces with their knowledge sounds pretty special. (SSB)
Let’s Take a Look at MIAC: Noon-2 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 21. Free. Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 710 Camino Lejo, (505) 476-1269
After the sensory overload of the holidays, there’s something so satisfying about the combination of monochromatic palette and unexpected texture on display in James Ware Pitts’ latest series. Taken across a 35-year period and utilizing archival inks alongside a variety of analogue film formats, each is printed on paper made entirely from cotton rags. By limiting his subject matter to floral still lifes, Pitts foregrounds the impact of that material—letting the ghost of the paper’s previous form show through the ink. This Friday is the last opportunity to see the show before it ends: and doesn’t the day before New Year’s seem like the perfect time for something soothing? (SSB)
Fifteen Flowers (closing reception): 4-6 pm, Friday Dec. 30. Free. Iconik Coffee Roasters, 1600 Lena St., palaceavenuearts.com
Between the cold weather, extended family time and inherent seasonal nostalgia, a lot of y’all are likely reaching for the comfort of animated movies. Allow us to nudge you towards the Jean Cocteau’s screening and Q&A for the 1982 animated classic, The Last Unicorn. Even if you don’t already have fond memories of the film, its unique visual style (animation was handled by the same team that went on to work with Miyazaki on Nausicaä, giving it a distinctive mix of Eastern and Western influences) will win you over. And with producer Michael Chase Walker on hand to answer any questions about its creation—hint: ask about George Harrison’s involvement—this screening is worth leaving your pajamas for. (SSB)
The Last Unicorn Screening and Q&A: 7 pm, Friday, Dec. 30. $15. Jean Cocteau Cinema, 418 Montezuma Ave., (505) 466-5528
Please, God, Just End It Already!
Let’s close out 2022
Remember back in 2019 when we all made jokes about how horrible everything was? Oh, how little we knew about hardship at the time. Things, it seems, got better for a time, but we’ve still contended with sickness and loss and blah blah blah—it’s just time for the dang year to end already. But how best to auld lang syne it up through midnight in Santa Fe?
If it’s earlier fun you seek, Joe Illick and the NYE Orchestra play twice at the Lensic (1 pm and 5 pm. $5-$80. 211 W San Fransico St., (505) 988-1234), and we’re talkin’ Gershwin tunes and orchestral classics. Or say you’re looking for something with the young ones? The Santa Fe Children’s Museum hosts the Noon Year’s Eve Party (11 am-1 pm. Free. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, (505) 989-8539), complete with a balloon drop.
Once we get into the evening hours, however, things get a little more party-ish, including La Emi’s Winter Flamenco Series (7:30 pm, $25-$115, The Lodge at Santa Fe, 750 N St. Francis Drive, (505) 992-5800), NYE with Joe West (8:30 pm. Free. Mine Shaft Tavern, 2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid, (505) 472-0734) and the Carousel: NYE event at Meow Wolf (10 pm. $50-$80. 1352 Rufina Circle, (505) 395-6369). Don’t forget the city’s celebration on the Plaza (63 Lincoln Ave.) starts at 8 pm, too, and is great for families.
For our money, though, the best bang for your buck might be the New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball at Altar Spirits (7 pm. Free. 545 Camino de la Familia, (505) 919-8596). Not only will you get sets from DJs Kaleido, Luz Skylarker and Audio Buddha, you’ll help the kickass local distillery ring in its first birthday in masquerade style. See you all in 2023! (Alex De Vore)