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Hanukkah

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Episode 10: Rededication (Transcript)

Episode 10: Rededication (Transcript)

"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentileschi, circa 1614-20 (cropped).

Loving Judith

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

Gentileschi’s rendition of Judith is a self-portrait—allowing her to wield a sword and take revenge, if only in fantasy. Judith Slaying Holofernes was the first piece of feminist art that really moved me. Even now, I get chills when I view it. I thought a lot about Judith this week, after dusting off my menorah and dutifully buying candles and gelt.

April Baskin at a Black Lives Matter Hanukkah Action

To Ascend Does Not Mean to Not Speak

by Devon Spier

This Hanukkah, I decided to create a holiday blessing of my own––one that draws from Jewish law and Hasidic folk history, while also incorporating contemporary Judaism's call to affirm the lives of women who have been hidden from history. I hope you will recite these words of blessing, and as you do so, recall valiant Jewish women, whose stories deserve to be heard and seen.

Topics: Hanukkah
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate and Jam (plated).

Hanukkah Sour Cream Coffee Cake

by Lisa Yelsey

In honor of a vital, but less well-known, woman taking charge, I’ll be teaching you how to make a dairy dessert. Specifically, a warm and delicious coffee cake to share with your friends and family.

Topics: Recipes, Hanukkah
"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentileschi, circa 1614-20 (cropped).

A Feminist Hanukkah

by Abby Richmond

Hanukkah is eight days long—a perfect amount of time to express your feminist values! I’ve compiled a list of Jewish, feminist-themed activities for Hanukkah—one for each day of the holiday. To be clear: these activities should be part of your life for the rest of the year, too! But sometimes it’s easy to fall behind, so without further ado, here is your recommended feminist Jewish agenda for this holiday.

Topics: Feminism, Hanukkah
Hanukkah Bush

The Hidden History of Hanukkah

by Tess Kelly

We all know the story. The courageous Maccabees, the oil that lasted for a miraculous eight nights. We all know the branded fable, the great tale of Hanukkah that has been recited again and again in synagogues and religious schools forever. But it isn’t the whole story. 

Cover Art for "Judith in the Enemy's Tent"

Judith the Activist

by Alicia Jo Rabins

In times of struggle, uncertainty, and fear, we are called to act. In the recent words of Charles Blow in the New York Times, “America needs you … now. Speak up.”

Topics: Hanukkah

Jewish Diversity and Innovation: The View from the Kitchen

Discover how recipes can tell stories about Jewish history and its ever-changing rich cultural diversity.

Rachel by Joseph von Führich, 1836

Hannah's Ghost

by Eliza Bayroff

I love Hanukkah. Always have. Eight crazy nights of games, presents, impromptu dance parties to the songs of Jewish musical maestro Paul Zim, and examinations of a stack of illustrated children’s books about the holiday, among them one very special giant-sized coloring book. (When I tell you giant-sized, I mean the length and width of an average toddler.)

"Catching Fire" Movie Poster

Catching Fire this Hanukkah

by  Avigayil Halpern

I cannot walk out of my house (or open my laptop) without being bombarded with suggestions for Hanukkah (this year, often Thanksgivukkah) merchandise. (Ironically, I am simultaneously presented with ads for “Catching Fire” themed goods, in contrast to the movie’s message.) The Hanukkah narrative has the power to be subversive; it is a story of a minority making themselves heard, of an oppressed group claiming their rights. When those of us who are privileged to be able to buy gifts (and menurkeys) focus on the commercial elements of the holiday at the expense of the holiday’s story, we create a bubble like the Capitol. Hanukkah should be a call to remind us that we should be the districts, not the Capitol; our power should be channeled into fighting injustice, not simply consuming what is provided to us.

Editors note: If you haven’t read The Hunger Games (or seen the movies), you’ll be safe from any major spoilers in this post from one of our Rising Voices Fellows. Be sure to check the JWA blog each Tuesday for a new post from our fellows—and check out the great educational resources provided by our partner organization, Prozdor.

Topics: Hanukkah, Film

An Open Letter to Whoever Finds my Menurkey

by  Jordyn Rozensky

In 2013 a miraculous thing happened. Thanksgiving and Haunkuah overlapped, and the whole world went crazy. The day was deemed Thanksgivukkah and quickly became a thing of legend. Songs popped up- some genuine, some parodiesWebsites devoted to the day were designed. T-shirts in every shape and size celebrated the day. Even the Mayor of Boston proclaimed the day to be an official holiday.

And I bought a menorah shaped like a turkey—aka a menurkey . 

Topics: Hanukkah

Hanukkah: Ignite and Inspire - Online Learning Program for Jewish Educators

Build connections among Jewish values, trailblazing Jewish women, and the Hanukkah story. This program will provide a new lens for teaching your students about Hanukkah that goes beyond the Maccabees and the candle lighting blessings. JWA staff will model resources and activities that can be put to use as you celebrate the festival of lights.
"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentileschi, circa 1614-20

Celebrate Judith; Celebrate Hanukkah

by  Miriam Cantor-Stone

Last week, JWA led the first online learning program of the year, “Hanukkah: Ignite and Inspire.” We spoke to almost 20 educators from across the country, covering topics from incorporating lessons of Jewish heroines to the challenges of creating a refreshing and relevant Hanukkah curriculum. I was most excited to talk about Judith, a Jewish, Biblical era woman whose story is not included in the Jewish scriptural canon.

Topics: Hanukkah
Microphone

Lauren Interviews Lauren

by  Lauren Mayer

Singer-songwriter-humorist Lauren Mayer reflects on Hanukkah, Christmas, family, growing up a Jew in Orange County and how all this informs her own, artistic process. May you enjoy this in depth interview conducted by… herself.

What inspired you to write “Latkes, Shmatkes”?

Two years ago NPR did a program on Christmas music, and their expert was talking about how secular songs, like “Frosty The Snowman,” became classics, and then he said, “Some songs should never become classics, like this one”— and used an old recording of mine as an example. It was a novelty song I’d written and recorded years ago, “The Fruitcake That Ate New Jersey,” and when I wrote in to ask how they found it, they ended up interviewing me. I joked that now I was part of the great tradition of Jewish songwriters who create Christmas music, and I really should do a Chanukah album. Once I said it, I realized it could be a fun idea.

Olive Oil Cake

Keep the Spirit of Hanukkah Burning with Olive Oil Cake

by  Katherine Romanow

Although Hanukkah is known as the festival of lights, I think a more fitting name would be the festival of fried foods. It’s the time of year during which people expect and want to find deep fried food on their plates and I’m more than happy to oblige. Although, as much as I love eating latkes and sufganiyot, there are moments where I need a break from all the fried foods. Yet in the spirit of the holiday I still want to eat a dish in which oil is a central component.

Topics: Recipes, Hanukkah
"Judith" by Giorgione, circa 1504

Accessing our Jewess Tools: Judaism’s Ancient Feminist Spiritual Tactics

by  Wendy Kenin

How does the American Jewish woman navigate our male-dominated society in the twenty-first century? Jewish women have thousands of years of history to draw from to help make sense of and find our place. According to our ancestral Jewish tradition, women’s empowerment is central to bringing redemption for all humanity -- so let’s get to it!

Flames

Rosa Parks and Hanukkah: Why Ignorance Isn't Always Bliss

by Etta King Heisler

On the Thursday night before Hanukkah began, I attended an event called A Sip of Eser, an introductory session to the ten-part young adult learning program Eser (meaning 10) run by Hebrew College in nearby Newton, MA. Amidst the tumult of a Boston bar, and alongside several dozen people I had never met, I heard rabbinical student, Seth Wax, tell a Hanukkah story none of us had ever heard.

Rainbow Menorah

Hanukkah Has Its Advantages, Too!

by  Lauren Mayer

Thanksgiving is over, meaning the few remaining stores with some discretion have put up their decorations (joining the vast majority who started in early November), and the holiday muzak is blaring everywhere – so it’s hard for Jews not to feel overwhelmed and outnumbered. Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday, so we aren’t really going to compete with giant electric menorahs on our front yards, and it’s highly unlikely that Lifetime will air a new series of “Heartfelt Hanukkah” made-for-TV movies. And it’s particularly hard for parents – our kids are singing carols in school, making ornaments out of popsicle sticks, and hearing about their friends who anticipate scoring major gift hauls. How do we help our kids, and ourselves, feel better about this imbalance?

Topics: Children, Hanukkah
Loose Tea

Gorging Yourself on Cheap, Coin-Shaped Candy? You Are SO Better Than That

by  Erica Zelfand, ND

Chanukkah (or however the heck you spell it) is a time of lighting the menorah, recounting yet another story of the resilience of the Jewish people, and celebrating miracles both great and small. It’s also a time of eating things you wouldn’t dare touch the rest of the year, letting your standards slide, and finding yourself hung over on January 1st, loathing yourself as you struggle to button your jeans.

Don’t be that person.

Topics: Recipes, Hanukkah

MTV After Hours: Putting Scarlett Johansson and Matt Damon to the test

by  Kate Bigam

Hanukkah may be over until next year, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy some of the best Hanukkah video goodies the Internet has to offer.

Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah

JWA inspires Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah

by  Leah Berkenwald

This week we were excited to receive news that our Hanukkah video, Women Who Light Up Our Lives, inspired Rabbi Janie Grackin to create a special project for "Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah." A Florida-based Jewish community educator and participant in JWA's summer Institute for Educators, Janie writes:

Happy Hanukkah from JWA!

by Jewesses With Attitude

In November, JWA set up a community art project to honor the women who light up our lives at the Brookline First Lights Festival. Footage from that event was used to create this video.

Topics: Hanukkah
Roslyn Bernstein's Daughter Julia at the Educational Alliance Coop Nursery School

The Hanukkah bush: Raising Jewish kids in downtown NYC

by  Roslyn Bernstein

For those of you not around New York City in the 1970s, raising children was a challenge. City parks were infested with drug dealers and street crime was high.

Aloo Gobi Latkes

Eating Jewish: Aloo Gobi Latkes

by  Katherine Romanow

It’s that time of year again when food blogs and websites are filled with recipes for latkes and other fried delicacies for Hanukkah, and kitchens (along with the cooks!) begin to smell of all things deep fried. As my thoughts turned to the latkes I was going to make for Eating Jewish, I knew I wanted to do something different.

Topics: Food, Recipes, Hanukkah

Telling the whole Hanukkah story

by  Leah Berkenwald

Hanukkah isn't only a story about Judah Maccabee and the miracle of the oil.

Topics: Hanukkah, Bible
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