Tis the season for spreading joy, breaking bread and remembering our traditions. Here’s a sampling of some fun ways to celebrate the season in Newark this year.
Thurs., Dec. 6, Newark Public Library, 5 Washington St. Opening event: Synagogues of Newark, 6-8:30 p.m.
Learn about Newark’s Jewish history at a program that will feature a Hanukah menorah lighting ceremony, personal stories and an exploration of the exhibit “Synagogues of Newark: Where we Gathered and Prayed, Studied and Celebrated’’ currently on view in the library’s first and second floor galleries.
The exhibit chronicles the story of Jewish community in Newark, which at its peak in the early 20th century was the 8th largest Jewish community in the United States with 40 active synagogues. Today there is only one: Ahavas Sholom at 145 Broadway. The congregation dates back to 1905. Free. Light refreshments will be served.
Fri, Dec. 7; Wed., Dec. 12; Thurs., Dec. 13; and Sun., Dec. 16: Four holiday concerts at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 89 Ridge Street.
Fri., Dec. 7, Navidad Latina 2018, 8 p.m.: The Cathedral’s Spanish Choir, along with Latin American singers and instrumentalists from throughout the Archdiocese of Newark. They will present a program of Christmas music, including including Ariel Ramirez’s “Navidad Nuestra” along with Villancicos Tradicionales. The program will be directed by Olfary Guitérrez. Free.
Wed., Dec. 12 and Thurs., Dec. 13: Two nights of the 48th annual Christmas Carol sing: 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.): Thousands of participants from throughout northern New Jersey are expected to converge on the basilica for its annual carol sing. Free.
Sun., December 16, 2018, Handel’s Messiah, 8 p.m.: The New Jersey Symphony orchestra, the Montclair University Singers and soloists Margot Rood (soprano), Reginald Mobley (countertenor), Steven Soph (tenor) and Charles Wesley Evans (baritone) join forces for a magical night of Christmas music. Tickets are $10 (obstructed view), $20, $45, and $70). For more information, visit njsymphony.org/messiahor call 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).
Sat., Dec. 8- Saturday Dec. 22 (two-week art sale) + open house, artisan market and potluck party on Sat., Dec. 15: Gallery Aferro, 73 Market St.
Feel the pulse of Newark’s art scene at Gallery Aferro, an independent art gallery known not just for its exhibitions and artist residencies but also for its book club, lectures and other community events. This year, Aferro’s annual art sale has been extended two weeks. Proceeds go to support the gallery’s art programs. The highlight will be a day-long open house, artisan marketplace and potluck party (the 10th annual!) on Saturday, Dec. from noon to 9 p.m. Admission is free.
During the two-week period of the art sale, gallery hours are extended. They are:
Saturday, Dec. 8 — 12 Noon – 6 pm
Wednesday, Dec. 12 — 12 Noon – 6 pm
Thursday, Dec. 13 — 12 Noon – 8 pm
Friday, Dec. 14 — 12 Noon – 8 pm
Saturday, Dec. 15 — 12 Noon – 9 pm w/ party and potluck!
Wednesday, Dec. 19 — 12 Noon – 6 pm
Thursday, Dec. 20 — 12 Noon – 8 pm
Friday, Dec. 21 — 12 Noon – 9 pm
Saturday, Dec. 22 — 12 Noon – 9 pm
Sun., Dec. 9, Newark Museum, 49 Washington St: Second Sundays – Global Holiday Fusion II, noon-5 p.m.
The Newark museum is spreading holiday cheer with a “global fusion’’ celebration that includes food-inspired activities, performances and art. There will be liquid nitrogen holiday sorbet cooking demos and tastings, Kwanzaa-inspired beverage-making workshops, Hanukah cooking workshops and the making of edible cookie art, and live holiday music by Freqency A Cappella.
There will be gallery tours. As always, the museum offers kid-friendly programs such as the interactive tours of the solar system in the museum’s planetarium theater to the opportunity to try one’s hand at art making in the museum’s MakerSPACE. Not to be missed: “Kimono Refashioned,’’ a special exhibition on view through Jan. 6 that traces the impact of the Japanese kimono on global fashion; the Victorian Christmas decorations in the Ballantine House (built in 1185 and home to Jeannette and John Holme Ballantine, scion of the Ballantine beer-brewing family); and the museum’s stunning and newly re-intalled Arts of Global Africa gallery.
General admission $15, but museum members, Newark residents and Newark college or university students with valid id, children under 2 and active duty military get in free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or they can be secured in advance by clicking here.
Fri., Dec. 14, Newark Museum, 49 Washington St: Second Sundays – Global Holiday Fusion II, noon-5 p.m.
The Newark museum is spreading holiday cheer with a “global fusion’’ celebration that includes food-inspired activities, performances and art. There will be liquid nitrogen holiday sorbet cooking demos and tastings, Kwanzaa-inspired beverage-making workshops, Hanukah cooking workshops and the making of edible cookie art, and live holiday music by Freqency A Cappella