Hanukkah

Barbara J. Feldman

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday (alternatively spelled Chanukah or Chanuka) that means “dedication” in Hebrew. It is an eight-day celebration commemorating the Jewish victory over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Jews celebrate by lighting a hanukkiah (sometimes called a menorah), playing dreidel, and eating latkes.

  • Activity Village: Hanukkah4 stars

    "Over 2000 years ago, in 165 BC, the Jews in Judea rebelled against their Syrian ruler, Antiochus, because he insisted that all Jewish people must worship Greek Gods. After three hard years of fighting, the Jews defeated Antiochus and, to celebrate, they restored the Temple of Jerusalem – which had been taken over by the Syrians – and rededicated it to their God." Visit for printable Hanukkah coloring pages, crafts, holiday writing paper, crafts, and printable puzzles.

  • My Jewish Learning: Hanukkah4 stars

    Need help lighting the hanukkiah? There's a silly Todd and God video that's sure to help. "Don't forget, Todd, always light from left to right!" There's also ideas for family celebrations, a few history lessons, dreidel rules, and recipes. "On Hanukkah is it customary to eat foods that are either fried in oil, or made with cheese. The fried foods custom recalls the miracle of Hanukkah, which centered around oil (one cruse lasting for eight days)."

  • PBS Kids: Arthur: Hanukkah4 stars

    The endearing characters of the Arthur book series explain Hanukkah in this five-slide short story. "Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights. The Frenskys like to display the Hanukkah candles in the front window so that other people can see them. Francine says that it's nice to feel like she is a part of something big."

  • Reform Judaism: Hanukkah5 stars

    "Today, the holiday reminds Jews to rededicate themselves to stand against forces that would destroy Judaism and to keep alive the flame of Jewish religion, culture, and peoplehood so that it may be passed on to the next generation." Lots of great Hanukkah resources here, including a virtual hanukkiah, a history of the holiday, dreidel lessons, craft projects, videos, and recipes.

  • Shalom Sesame: Chanukah5 stars

    These fun preschool videos from Shalom Sesame are my Hanukkah picks of the week. My favorites are Chanukah with Veronica Monica, Extreme Makeover (the Hanukkah story of the Temple restoration) and Number of the Day: Shmoneh. "There are shmoneh (eight) nights of Chanukah. Sit down with your kids before the holiday begins and think of something special you can do on each of the eight nights, such as eating, celebrating with friends and family, singing songs, reading books, and opening gifts."

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Hanukkah." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 28 Aug. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/hanukkah/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published November 12, 2013. Last modified March 8, 2014.

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