Chanukah

The Hanukkah connection: In modern times, sharing the light with family near and far

At Hanukkah, a text or Skype call can bring far-flung family closer. (Nina Mikryukova/Unsplash)

For generations, lighting the Hanukkah candles together has been the fodder for lifelong memories. But today’s far-flung families are increasingly challenged to share the sight of the candles aglow, the sound of the blessings and traditional songs sung by old and young alike, the feel of a perfect dreidel… Read more »

In Budapest, Hanukkah comes out of the shadows and onto the ice rink

Rabbi Slomo Koves, right, and a participant at Chabad Hungary's 2015 Hanukkah on Ice event take selfies at Budapest's City Park Ice Rink, Dec. 6, 2015. (Courtesy of EMIH)

  BUDAPEST (JTA) — The outdoor ice skating rink — the largest in Central Europe — in Budapest’s city center has been part and parcel of Hungary’s Christmas tradition for nearly 150 years. Stretching across 3.5 acres between Heroes’ Square and Vajdahunyad Castle, the Budapest City Park Ice Rink… Read more »

It’s always Hanukkah in this picture-perfect Italian town

This is one of the nearly 200 menorahs at the Museum of Lights in Casale Monferrato (Foundation for Jewish Art, History, and Culture at Casale Monferrato and in Eastern Piedmont - Onlus)

It’s always Hanukkah in this picturesque town in northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Jews have lived in Casale Monferrato for more than 500 years, with the community reaching its peak of 850 members at about the time Jews here were granted civil rights in 1848. The town still boasts one… Read more »

Garden books for Hanukkah offer options from cookery to yard design

Books make a great gift because they contain the precious gift of knowledge. Here are eight gardening books for all types of folks, whether they garden outside or indoors, or just cook with vegetables that others grow. To start off — who doesn’t like a cookbook? “The Renee’s Garden… Read more »

Europe’s Jews prepare public Hanukkah events to ‘drive out darkness’

A menorah in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Dec. 16, 2014. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

  AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Before Monday’s attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal had planned to invite hundreds of people to the traditional lighting of the first Hanukkah candle at a large menorah erected at the city’s Brandenburg Gate monument. But he decided to change his original… Read more »

Hanukkah gift ideas for newcomers to the tribe

(MyJewishLearning via JTA) — Do you have friends or family members who are new to the tribe? Maybe they recently converted, married a Jew or became newly interested in their Jewish roots? Or maybe you’re the newbie and are wondering what to put on your wish list. Whatever the… Read more »

6 new Hanukkah kids’ books to help enlighten the holiday

(JTA) — From a new audio version of “Hanukkah Bear” — a holiday favorite by National Jewish Book Award winner Eric A. Kimmel — to a novel for young teens set during the Festival of Lights, there is a fresh crop of Hanukkah books that are sure to delight… Read more »

Why I light my menorah in the window — and you should, too

The new Hanukkah stamp provided an unexpected source of inspiration for a writer. (Courtesy of U.S. Postal Service)

  LOS ANGELES (JTA) — In the weeks before Hanukkah, with anticipation of the holiday brightly filling my mind, the darkening news of rising anti-Semitism in the U.S. began to filter in. As I pictured our menorahs burning in their usual place —  the front windows of our home —… Read more »

Menorah sculpture will light up Tucson nights

Tucsonan Danny Levkowitz finished his steel menorah in time to celebrate Chanukah 2015.

Tucsonan Danny Levkowitz recently finished building this 15-foot tall menorah, his first attempt at sculpture, at his east side home. Made of steel rebar with LED lights, the menorah took over two months to create, but it is something Levkowitz, the owner of Sun Lighting, has been dreaming about… Read more »

How to not spoil your interfaith kids during the holiday season

Susan Katz Miller

(Kveller via JTA) — “We get twice the presents!” Most interfaith kids will utter this classic, and rather obnoxious, boast at some point during childhood. And I have to admit, it makes me wince and grit my teeth a little. As an interfaith child myself, I understand all too… Read more »