Hanukkah, meaning “dedication” in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Macabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. 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 for Hanukkah; unique foods such as latkes and jelly doughnuts; playing dreidle, eating chocolate Hanukkah gelt, and singing songs such as Sivivon and Maoh Tzur.
At Temple B’nai Israel, we host a Hanukkah party at our religous school, where children make crafts and learn about the historical significance of the holiday. Also, on the Shabbat during Hanukkah, we have a special Friday night service were families are invited to bring their menorahs for a community menorah lighting.