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Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem (hanukkat ha-mizbeah) in the year 164 BCE. According to the book of Maccabees, Jews were not able to celebrate Sukkot that year because of the impurities in the Temple, and so they established a delayed 8-day celebration in the Hebrew month of Kislev. According to legend, when the Maccabees re-entered the Temple, they could find only enough oil to light the Menorah for one day; but a miracle happened and the lights remained bright for eight days.

There are special liturgical additions in our services during Hanukkah, but the most prominent aspect of the holiday is the kindling of the hanukiyyah (8-branch candelabra) each evening to fulfill the mitzvah of pirsumei nissa (publicizing the miracle). At B’nai Israel, our celebration is always marked by a special community event.


Happy Hanukkah! 

We’re sharing EIGHT DAYS of reels (short video clips) with our clergy and members. Follow along on our social media to see them all or you can view them on our website here.

hanukkah celebrations 2022

My Grandma's Secret Sufganiyot 
with Uriel Lin, Congregational Shlicha
Sunday, December 18
11:00 AM
Adults are invited to an Israeli Sufganiyot Workshop, where we will learn how to make my grandma’s secret sufganiyot (filled doughnut) recipe—crunchy on the outside and dreamy on the inside! Click here to register.

Bonim & Machar: Hanukkah Extravaganza  (Grades K–5)
Sunday, December 18 
12:30 PM
Make challah, spin dreidels, and celebrate Hanukkah with games and crafts! Click here to register.

Tuesday, December 20
5:45 PM
Celebrate the third night of Hanukkah at B’nai Israel with a latke dinner and activities for kids and grownups of all ages. This Festival of Lights will even include a Poi fire dancing performance by Rabbi Cheryl Stone! If you would like to learn about the art of Poi and participate in a mini-performance during Latke and Lights, you can join this workshop here.  Click here to register for Latkes and Lights.

Let’s Gelt Lit*: A Retro Teen Hanukkah Party (Grades 8–12)
Thursday, December 22
7:00-10:00 PM
All 8th-12th graders are invited to the retro Hanukkah party of the season: Let’s Gelt Lit! Join other teens from across the DMV at B’nai Israel for dancing, music, gelt, candle lighting, games, and prizes! No cost to attend. This event is for any Jewish 8th-12th grader regardless of denomination, affiliation, membership, or Jewish practice. Register at *Hanukkah candles will be lit. 

Hanukkah Shabbat Dinner from David Chu's China Bistro - This event is currently registered in FULL and registration is closed. 
Friday, December 23
6:15 PM Kabbalat Shabbat Services
7:00 PM Shabbat Dinner
Click here for details. Cosponsored by Men's Club and Sisterhood.

Additional ways you can celebrate Hanukkah:

celebrating Hanukkah at home

Hanukkah Songs by Cantor Josh

Wed, February 1 2023 10 Shevat 5783