Spiritually inclined seniors, plan ahead. Several community events are scheduled surrounding the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, celebrated this year Dec. 1-8.
One of the highlights might be the free annual Hanukkah party sponsored by the B'nai B'rith Lodge 3118 of Camarillo, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4. The program, which is open to the public, will include the comedy and accordion music of Shalom Sherman.
Sherman, who lives in the San Fernando Valley, has performed all over the world since leaving his native Israel more than 20 years ago.
"But tell them I'm from Des Moines, Iowa," he said recently. "It's funnier that way."
A lighting of the menorah will inaugurate the event and refreshments will be provided in the Camarillo Community Center, 1605 E. Burnley St. For information, call 987-5534.
A sampling of other Hanukkah events:
Beginning at noon and again at 6 p.m. Dec. 1, Ventura County Cablevision will broadcast "Hanukkah Around the Globe," featuring live menorah-lighting ceremonies worldwide. For more information, call (800) 427-3731.
* Chabad of the Conejo will sponsor a series of community menorah ceremonies, all from 7 to 8 p.m., with one exception. These free events will feature Jewish and Israeli music, hot latkes and a children's show with a clown and gifts.
Two ceremonies will take place Dec. 2: Agoura Hills City Mall, 5875 Kanan Road, Agoura, and at the Buena Ventura Mall, 363 S. Mills Road, Ventura. On Dec. 3, a menorah ceremony will be held at The Oaks Mall, 222 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks; and on Dec. 4 at Mountain Gate Plaza, 1135 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. A final outdoor ceremony will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8 near the fountain at Libby Park, Signal Street and Ojai Avenue, Ojai. For details, call (818) 991-0991.
Thousand Oaks: Chabad also invites all seniors to three Hanukkah parties planned during the week of Hanukkah in the Conejo Valley, featuring food and entertainment. They will be held at the following locations: Castle Hill Retirement Village, 3575 N. Moorpark Road; Hillcrest Royale Retirement Center, 190 E. Hillcrest Drive; and the Hillcrest Inn, 405 Hodencamp Road. For information on times or dates, or for transportation, call (818) 991-0991.
* The 50+ Club of Temple Etz Chaim, 1080 Janss Road, plans a late Hanukkah luncheon meeting at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 18, with latkes, bingo and prizes. For information, call (805) 987-6729.
...And some other temple-related opportunities:
* Thousand Oaks: Today at 10 a.m. seniors may join members of Temple Adat Elohim's 60-something social group for a caravan trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. The trip starts at the temple parking lot, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive. The club also holds monthly luncheon meetings. For details, call 497-7101.
* Westlake Village: A weekly discussion group, "Judaism Responds to the Headlines," sponsored by Agoura Hills' Temple Beth Haverim, meets in private homes in Westlake Village on Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m. The Dec. 4 discussion will focus on contemporary interpretations of Hanukkah.
Temple Beth Haverim also invites seniors to join a Havurah social group for senior singles and couples with common interests. For details, call (818) 991-7111.
Ventura: The Prime Timers senior social group of Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road, holds monthly luncheon meetings, although no special event for Hanukkah is planned. For information or transportation, call 659-5144.
* Camarillo: On the fourth Friday of every month, Temple Etz Chaim in Thousand Oaks and the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles sponsor free bus transportation to bring any senior from Camarillo to attend the Temple's Friday night Sabbath services. The bus leaves Leisure Village on Santa Rosa Road in Camarillo at 7:15 p.m. and returns about 10:30 p.m. For November, bus transportation will be provided Friday. Non-residents of Leisure Village may call 987-6729 to arrange bus pickup.