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Chanukah e-cards

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Chanukah Videos

Find a selection of some of your favorite Chanukah videos all in one place right here

Interfaith families raising Jewish kids

Negotiation of the "December dilemma" -- the tug of war between Chanukah and Christmas in intermarried households -- reflects the findings of the third annual December Holidays survey by, a group that supports intermarried families making Jewish choices. Read full article here

Lighting the Menorah candles

The candle for the first night is placed at the far right of the Menorah (Chanukiah); on each subsequent night, another candle is added to the left. An extra candle, designated as the “Shamash,” (servant) is lit first – then used to light the others after the B’rakhot (blessings) are recited. Each night, the candles are lit from left to right, starting with the new candle. More information

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Your complete Chanukah resourse guide

Everything, yes we mean everything, you ever wanted to know about Chanukah. Traditions, history, songs, videos, recipes, articles of interest. It can all be found at our Chanukah website

Book reviews By Alice McGinty
Alice B. McGinty is the award winning author of over 40 books for children. She lives in Urbana and reviews books for the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette. Her newest picture book, Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons, is scheduled to be released in Spring, 2013.

Hanukah, Oh Hanukah

“Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah.” This beautifully illustrated picture book brings new life to the classic song. Warm, colorful illustrations show a loving family lighting the menorah, preparing a Hanukkah party, spinning the dreidel, and dancing the hora. Read more

Celebrate Hanukah With me

In this picture book, a Jewish girl shares the traditions, history, and celebration of Hanukkah with her Christian friend. The rhymed verses give a full picture of the holiday without being too heavy or information laden. Follow these two girls as the one proudly shows the other how her family celebrates. A full page spread allows the readers to experience the lighting of the candles on all eight nights, with each small picture accompanied by a clever couplet. Read more

More suggestions for Kids' Books to Give for Hanukkah

The Best Kids' Books to Give for Hanukkah
A favorite book for every night of the holiday
By Laurel Snyder

We are, after all, the People of the Book.
With most parenting books aimed at moms, here are some non-parenting books all about fatherhood. When I was growing up, my dad always gave me two books for Hanukkah, wrapped in pages from the previous year’s Jewish calendar. This was an important tradition at our house. I’d unfold the stiff glossy paper, adorned with a photo of a rusty spice box, and hold my breath, waiting to see what lay in store, because the books my dad chose were unpredictable. Best Chanukah books

The Hanukkah Story By Rosanne Tolin

When it is a mitzvah to choose French fries over broccoli? On the 25th day of Kislev, the start of the Hanukkah holiday!

The holiday of Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, celebrates religious freedom. The word Hanukkah means “rededication”. It refers to the re-opening of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem after the Jews defeated the mighty Syrian army more than 2,300 years ago.

The story begins in 175 B.C.E., when Antiochus IV became king of Syria, the country that ruled over Judea (now Israel). Antiochus insisted the Jews pray to the Greek gods. Those that refused to give up their belief in one God were tortured or killed. Angry Jews smashed the idols they were forced to worship. Many left their homes and belongings, and escaped to the mountains where they lived in caves. Full Story

Local Chanukah Events

Local events and celebrations scheduled on or around Chanukah More info

Sinai Temple Gift Shop Chanukah Showcase

Chanukah Showcase in the Davis Chapel 

Sunday, Dec 4th, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Sunday, Dec 11th, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Wednesday, Dec 7th, 4:00-7:00 PM,
Thursday, Dec 8th, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
After Dec 11th, we will be open in the Gift Shop
Open By Appointment: Dec 19th through Dec 23rd.

EVERYTHING you'll need to observe and celebrate Chanukah---menorahs, candles, dreidels, other Chanukah merchandise and gifts. Even nut-free chocolate Gelt available!

History of Chanukah

The events that inspired the Hanukkah holiday took place during a particularly turbulent phase of Jewish history. Around 200 B.C., Judea—also known as the Land of Israel—came under the control of Antiochus III, the Seleucid king of Syria, who allowed the Jews who lived there to continue practicing their religion. His son, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, proved less benevolent: Ancient sources recount that he outlawed the Jewish religion and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. Full story