Chanukah

Crafts, volunteering, variety make Hanukkah meaningful for children

Hanukkah’s proximity to Christmas can complicate the holiday. For those who try to make Hanukkah more like Christmas, it inevitably seems to fall short. Yet while Hanukkah traditionally was not one of the most central holidays of the Jewish calendar, it can offer many opportunities for fun and joyous… Read more »

Hallmark Channel to broadcast its first Hanukkah movies

Brittany Bristow, center, plays Brooke in the first of two new Hallmark Channel Hanukkah-themed features, ‘Holiday Date.’ Photo courtesy Crown Media

The Hallmark Channel will premiere its first two Hanukkah-themed movies this month in honor of the holiday, which starts this year on Dec. 22. “Our audience is very vocal, and they tell us when they’d like to see more of something,” says Michelle Vicary, Crown Media’s executive vice president… Read more »

Lemon ricotta fritters: Easier and just as delicious as jelly doughnuts

I know that sufganiyot — jelly doughnuts — are traditional and beloved for Hanukkah. But I feel confident that once you try these easy and incredibly delicious ricotta fritters, you will be converted to these sweet fried treats. And if I’m making a confession, I have actually never loved… Read more »

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 »