Tikva Records, a pop-up Jewish record store, turned what’s usually a quiet family celebration at home into a big celebration on Tuesday night, when approximately 100 people came to the store to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
“Normally most people celebrate Hanukkah at home with their family, but we wanted to try and unite families and the community, young and old, through music and reviving those old songs we used to sing,” said David Katznelson, co-founder of the Idelsohn Society, the group that organized the event.
The record store, run by the Idelsohn Society, set up shop in Queen’s Nails Annex Gallery at 3191 Mission St. for the month of December, to celebrate the Jewish holiday.
On Tuesday night, as the smell of latkes — fried potato pancakes — sour cream and apple sauce wafted through the store, the crowd clapped and sang along with guitarist Zack Rogue and backup singer Ted Nesseth.
Among the songs played were “Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah,” “Blessings on the Menorah” and “Ner Rishon,” in remembrance of the miracle in which the oil that was only supposed to last one day kept the Menorah candles lit for eight days — long enough for the Jews to rededicate the Jerusalem Temple.
“When David asked me to come sing for a Hanukkah concert, I couldn’t resist,” said Rogue. “You stumble upon Jewish people here in the city every now and then, so to see everyone here tonight is beautiful.”
Founded in 2006, the Idelsohn Society repurposes old hits from the once-leading Jewish record label Tikva Records with up-and-coming artists, “for young Jews who are thirsty to experience their culture in a new way,” Katznelson said. “Because history sounds different when you know where to start listening.”
Fourteen-year-old Anya Decarlo came to the event with her mother. “I’m here to hear some good music,” she said while waiting in line outside. “It beats being at home with my dad.”
For others at the event, some of their fondest memories are of being at home with relatives on the first day of Hanukkah.
“The first day of Hanukkah brings back so many memories of being with the family and my dad leading us in songs,” said Stan Fasci, a professor at the University of San Francisco.