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Sleepy Hollow Kids Celebrate Hanukkah With Puppet Show

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Jill Liflander warned kids that after listening to “Al Ha Nisism” and seeing her Hanukkah umbrella decorated with symbols of the holiday, it was going to seep into their unconscious brains.

“When you're 18 and in college, you'll be like, “I love Hanukkah. I don't know why. Get me an umbrella! Somebody!” she said.

Hanukkah took center stage during a Jilly Puppets performance on the first day of the holiday. Liflander taught kids Hanukkah songs—a Hanukkah rap—and used puppets to spread Hanukkah cheer to an enthusiastic crowd of kids.

The adults present even got into the act, with Tarrytown resident Karen Geelan helping kids light a special menorah.

Liflander said the Hanukkah show was intended to let kids “have a positive experience with being Jewish that's social and creative.” Liflander noted that there are many aspects of Hanukkah from spiritual to historical to cultural. She wanted to focus on bringing people together.

“In a public library, I want to impart a sense of festivity and togetherness,” she said.

Liflander said she uses her shows to let kids see that adults can be silly and imaginative. About 99 percent of all her costumes and puppets use recycled materials or found objects. She said she wanted to communicate that “you can find creativity everywhere.”

Geelan said she thought it was “a really fun and creative way to celebrate Hanukkah.”

“My son never sits still and never stays in any sort of organized event and he sat the entire time with a big smile on his face,” she said.

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