December 22 through December 29
(nights the chanukiah, the candelabra, is lit)
Hanukkah, meaning “dedication” in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and the subsequent liberation and “re-dedication” of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The modern home celebration of Hanukkah centers around the lighting of the chanukiah, a special menorah (candelabra) for Hanukkah; unique foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and jelly doughnuts; playing dreidle (spinning top), eating chocolate Hanukkah gelt (coins), and singing songs such as Sivivon and Maoz Tzur.
At Temple B’nai Israel, on the Shabbat during Hanukkah, we have a special Friday night service were families are invited to bring their chanukiot (candelabras) for a community chanukoah lighting, a sing-a-long service, pot luck dinner and latke cook-off!