Hanukkah /Chanukah is a festive eight-day celebration that for many people falls during the darkest,
coldest season of the year. Also called the Festival of Lights, the holiday brings light, joy, and warmth to
our homes and communities as we celebrate with candles, food, family, and friends. Hanukkah means
“dedication” in Hebrew and commemorates the victory of a small group of Jewish rebels (led by Judah Maccabee and his brothers, collectively known as “the Maccabees”) over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “rededication” of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Modern celebrations of Hanukkah focus on family and friends and include the lighting of the hanukkiyah (Hanukkah menorah); singing and playing special songs and games such as dreidel; and eating foods prepared in oil including potato latkes, sufganiyot (filled donuts), bimuelos (fried dough puffs) and keftes de prasas (leek patties).
Dreidel (derived from a German word meaning “spinning top”) is the toy used in a game adapted from an old German gambling game. Rules to play dreidel.
Hanukkah Craft: Foam Dreidel Magnets
Making your own hanukkiyah (menorah): Kveller
Hanukkah blessings for your home (with audio and downloadable options): Reform Judaism