Hanukkah meets Grateful Dead at Phil Lesh menorah lighting concert in San Rafael

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Last year, a menorah lighting at Terrapin Crossroads —  a venue owned by former Grateful Dead guitarist Phil Lesh — was so well-attended that a regular lineup of Jewish holidays has taken root at the San Rafael entertainment and dinner spot.

A Passover seder plus a show with liberation-themed songs was held in April, and then a Rosh Hashanah dinner and show in September.

With Jeannette Ferber singing, former Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh lights the first candle.  photo/alix wall

This year, Hanukkah got its own dinner and show, as well, with upwards of 150 people attending the Dec. 16 event, dubbed “Terrapin Nation Hanukkah.”

Before Lesh, who isn’t Jewish, read the Hanukkah story, Cheryl Provost, calling herself “Terrapin’s resident Jewish mother,” thanked him for creating the “best JCC anywhere.” Lesh did the blessing over the candles in English while Jeannette Ferber, cantorial soloist at Chochmat HaLev, a synagogue in Berkeley, sang the words in Hebrew.

Later, after dinner, Lesh played with a group of musicians that included guitarists Ross James and Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz. They had fun interjecting the song “Hanukkah O Hanukkah” into one jam, and Ferber sang Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Light One Candle.” The show opened with the Grateful Dead classic “I Need a Miracle” and featured numerous Grateful Dead songs having to do with light. To see the full set list and pictures, visit www.bit.ly/terrapin-hanukkah.  — alix wall