This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends a week later on Sunday, Dec. 16.
According to Chabad.org, Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. For those of us who aren't attuned to the Jewish calendar, that translates to sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8.
- Temple B’nai Shalom, 41 Storrs Ave., Braintree – 781-843-3687
Chanukah Shabbat – Saturday, Dec. 15, services begin at 9:15 a.m. Special Kiddush will include latkes and kugel.
- Congregation Sha-Aray Shalom, 1112 Main St., Hingham – 781-749-8103
Chanukah party – Saturday, Dec. 8, 5 p.m. The event will begin with Havdalah, followng by dinner and celebration, including pizza, pasta and latkes and music by the Max Chaiken Band. There will be games and arts and crafts. RSVP by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-749-8103.
- Temple Shalom of Milton, 38 Truro Lane, Milton – 617-698-3394
Chanukah family program – Sunday, Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m. at Pierce Middle School. The celebration will include a talent show, latke tasting, menorah lighting, book swap, raffles, Chanukah songs, and traditional snacks of latkes and sufganiyot (donuts). The event is open to the entire community. Admission is $5/per person, $3 under 13 and free for children 3 and under, with a family maximum of $12.
- Temple Beth Shalom, 600 Nantasket Ave., Hull – 781-925-2377
Shabbat Chanukah Services – Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Public Menorah Lighting – Saturday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m.
Family Chanukah Party – Sunday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. There will be clay pottery, latkes, sufganiot (donuts), pizza and music. Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for children 6-13; and $3 children under $6.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the story of the Maccabean Revolt against Syrian rulers in present day Israel 2,300 years ago. The Maccabees wanted to rededicate Jerusalem's main temple but had only enough oil to kindle the Eternal Light for one day. The oil lasted for eight days, according to the story, and the holiday of Hanukkah was born.
Today, Jews generally celebrate by gathering together with family, lighting one candle on the menorah each of the eight nights, playing dreidel and eating special holiday foods such as potato latkes and babka.
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?