Community Celebrations of Hanukkah

Celebrate Hanukkah

Hanukkah is the Jewish holiday known as the Festival of Lights. For eight days, Jewish families light one more candle of the eight that create the menorah each evening. In Western Massachusetts there are many places to explore the traditions of Hanukkah and Jewish culture through community events and local museums. Bring your family to celebrate while participating and learning about customs of the holiday.

Here in this video is a brief history of Hanukkah and the origin of many customs:

Find community events for celebrating and discovering the traditions of Hanukkah for 2016:

Sunday, December 18, 2016 from 10am-11am
Lander Grinspoon Academy
Celebrate Hanukkah at Lander Grinspoon Academy with stories, hands-on activities, and crafts! Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz will be running a story time. Attendees will have the chance to make their own menorahs. Activities are especially suited for three to five year olds, but all ages are welcome to this community celebration. 413-584-6622. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, December 18, 2016 from 10am-4pm
Yiddish Book Center
The word “Hanukkah” is derived from a Hebrew verb which translates to the English: “to dedicate.” The holiday celebrates the regaining of Jewish control over Jerusalem. This year, Hanukkah takes place from December December 24 to January 1. You can begin your celebration early with family activities at the Yiddish Book Center. There will be a Yiddish holiday song workshop, stories, crafts, and scavenger hunts. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 18, 2016 from 11am-4pm
Springfield Museums
Want to connect with your Jewish heritage or learn about traditional Hanukkah celebrations? The Springfield Museums will be offering “Illuminating Gallery Activities” including dreidel games, candle rolling, and more. Participants can craft their own Star of David out of frosted paper. Decorate Suf Ganiyot, a round jelly doughnut often eaten in celebration of Hanukkah. These programs are free with museum admission. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Saturday, December 24, 2016 from 5-6:30pm
Springfield JCC
Springfield JCC celebrates the first night of the Hanukkah Season! Havdallah will be followed by the lighting of the largest menorah in Western MA, followed by Chinese food. Service activity tables will be set up in the lobby. Come make soup cups for survival shelter, no-sew blankets for families in need, and  holiday cards for local elders. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA 

Saturday, December 24, 2016 from 5-10:30pm
Congregation B’nai Israel
Congregation B’nai Israel celebrates the first night of Chanukah. Activities include: Community Candle Lighting; Havdalah & Chanukah Singing; Kosher Chinese Food Buffet; Dreidel Games; and Movies. Then at 8:30pm there will be a late night Dreidel Dance Party! All are welcomed. Please also bring an item for the Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts Winter Clothing Drive for the over 100 new refugees families in our area (welcoming new and gently-used coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots). 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA ($)


Download our Nov/Dec issue of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts to discover winter holiday traditions being celebrated across the region.

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