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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.

Hanukkah Facebook Connections – This Hanukkah be sure to snap a picture of your family lighting candles and put it on our Facebook page. Let’s share the holiday together!


celebrating Hanukkah at home


Hanukkah Songs by Cantor Josh

hanukkah celebrations 2021

Bonim: Hanukkah Program (Grades K–2)
Sunday, November 21
12:30–1:45 PM
Prepare for the fun of Hanukkah by making your very own dreidel. Click here to register.

Machar: Hanukkah Program (Grades 3–5)
Sunday, November 21
12:30–1:45 PM
Get ready for the Festival of Lights by crafting your very own menorah and candles. Click here to register.

Latkes & Lights
Thursday, December 2
5:30 PM
Gather with friends and family to celebrate Hanukkah with food, games, fun, and plenty of lights! This program will feature activities for children of all ages, tots through teens, as well as for our adults. Click here to register.

BISNS Drive-In Movie
Sunday, December 5
5:15 PM Parking Lot Opens
5:45 PM Menorah Lighting
6:00 PM Movie Begins
Come celebrate the last night of Hanukkah DRIVE-IN STYLE! Bundle up to get cozy and join the fun with other BISNS families as we light the 8th candle and watch TOY STORY in the B'nai Israel parking lot. The cost is $20 per car and snack baggies are included!  Please RSVP by December 1st so we can plan accordingly. Limited space is available! Check your inbox to register. 

2021 Hanukkah Film Festival

November 28-December 5

Celebrate the Hanukkah season with eight nights of exclusive, award-winning new films, available to view from the comfort of home via your TV, computer or mobile devices.

Your ticket purchase provides limited-time access to this series of 11 films, plus exclusive filmmaker discussions and more, with new content added each night of Hanukkah.

This series is available throughout North America, in partnership with film festivals, synagogues and Jewish organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Follow the link on our website to register and check out using B’nai Israel’s special promo code to receive a discount!

Click here to register using B'nai Israel's discount code.

Watch on: Roku - Amazon Fire TV - Apple TV - Android TV - Samsung TV - iOS - Android


The Broken Candle 
Felix Kiner / USA / English / 9 minutes

The heartwarming tale of Nira, a broken Hanukkah candle who becomes the shamash (“lead candle” of the Hanukkah) on the last night of the Festival of Lights. Featuring the voice talents of Vanessa Marshall, Tiffany Haddish, Tom Kenny, Eugenio Derbez, Mark Feuerstein, Dave Boat, and Keili Lefkovitz. Click here to watch the trailer.

Stacey Ravel Abarbanel & Jeff Swimmer / USA / English / 38 minutes

“Did Pancho Villa really try to kill my grandfather? And if so, why?” In unraveling this mystery, filmmaker Stacey Ravel Abarbanel delves into memory, history, and contemporary life in the border town of Columbus, New Mexico, famed for being raided in 1916 by Villa’s army during the Mexican Revolution. Click here to watch the trailer.

Xueta Island - (World Premiere!)
Dani Rotstein, Felipe Wolokita & Ofer Laszewicki / Spain/USA / Spanish, English / 63 minutes

Explore the fascinating legacy of the Chuetas: a unique group of families on the Balearic island of Majorca who are believed to be descendants of the island’s Inquisition-era Jewish population, forced to renounce their Judaism by the Catholic Church at the beginning of the 15th century in the years leading up to the Majorcan Inquisition. Click here to watch the trailer.


Kiss Me Kosher 
Shirel Peleg / Israel, Germany / English, German, Hebrew, Arabic / 101 minutes
Starring Moran Rosenblatt, Luise Wolfram, Rivka Michaeli & John Carroll Lynch

A subversive love story between clashing cultures and families, Kiss Me Kosher is a romantic misadventure crossing all borders. When two generations of Israeli women fall for a German woman and a Palestinian man, chaos follows. What happens with lovers who don't fit but do belong together? Click here to watch the trailer.


The Tatooed Torah 
Marc Bennett / USA / English / 21 minutes
Narrated by Ed Asner

Over the last three decades, the beloved children’s book by Marvell Ginsburg has been a powerful resource for Holocaust education. Narrated by Ed Asner, the film brings to life the true story of the rescue and restoration of a small Torah from Brno, Czechoslovakia, and teaches the Holocaust not only as a period of destruction but also as an opportunity for redemption. Click here to watch the trailer.

Mish Mish 
Tal Michael / Israel, France / English, Hebrew, French / 74 minutes

In a basement near Paris, go inside a recently discovered treasure-trove of Egyptian animated films from the Frenkel brothers: three exceptional young filmmakers and creators of Mish-Mish Effendi, the Mickey Mouse of the entire region, revealing a forgotten era gone forever, an Arab-Jewish golden age erased from the pages of history. Click here to watch the trailer.


Latter Day Jew
Aliza Rosen / USA / English / 81 minutes

Meet H. Alan Scott - a gay, former Mormon / converted Jew / cancer survivor / writer-comedian searching for his spiritual path and preparing for his Bar Mitzvah at age 35. But before he can become a man in the eyes of Jewish law, he wants to figure out what it means to be the best Jew he can be and even figure out what that means. Click here to watch the trailer.


Isaac Cherem / Mexico / Spanish / 95 minutes

Leona tells the story of a young Jewish woman from Mexico City who finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love. Ripe with all the drama and interpersonal conflicts of a Jane Austen novel, Ariela (Naian González Norvind, “New Order”) navigates the labyrinth of familial pressure, religious precedent, and her own burgeoning independence as she struggles with her heart to find the right path. Click here to watch the trailer.


The Crossing
Johanne Helgeland / Norway / Norwegian / 90 minutes

10-year-old Gerda and her brother Otto's parents are in the Norwegian resistance during WWII. One day, their parents are arrested, leaving the siblings on their own. Following the arrest, they discover two Jewish children, Sarah and Daniel, hidden in their basement at home. Now Gerda and Otto must finish what their parents started: help Sarah & Daniel cross the border to neutral Sweden and reunite with their parents. Click here to watch the trailer.


A Starry Sky Above the Roman Ghetto
Giulio Base / Italy / Italian / 100 minutes

Past and present meet upon the discovery of an old, mysterious photograph that will end up tying together Christian and Jewish students in search of the truth. Trying to unravel the mystery behind the portrait, the boys embark on a journey through a night of horror that cannot be forgotten: the raid of the Roman Ghetto. Click here to watch the trailer.


Here We Are
Nir Bergman / Israel / Hebrew / 92 minutes

Aharon has devoted his life to raising his son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, away from the real world. But Uri is autistic, and now as a young adult it might be time for him to live in a specialized home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son and hits the road, knowing that Uri is not ready for this separation. Or is it, in fact, his father who is not ready? Click here to watch the trailer.

Click here to register for the 2021 Hanukkah Film Festival.

Fri, January 28 2022 26 Shevat 5782