#14 Holiday Explorer: Hanukkah – Festival of Light

#14 Hanukkah – The Festival of Light

Mes Ark Shalom! In this session, you will learn about Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. In this exciting lesson, you will learn:

  • History: How Hanukkah began and how it is observed today
  • Prayer: How to recite the blessing of light
  • Values: How to apply the lesson of Hanukkah in your life
  • Fun: How to play the dreidel game





#1 WATCH this video on Hanukkah

Grades K-3

Grades 4-6

#2 READ this short essay about Hanukkah written by Jeremy, age 11

tmd_home_bboysHi, my name is Jeremy. The story of Hanukkah is about a Jewish guy named Judah Maccabee. His dad’s name was Mattathius and he had many sons. They lived near Jerusalem in the hills during the First Temple time which was 2500 years ago. The Greeks wanted the Jews stop being Jewish and to become Greek. Judah wanted to remain Jewish so he fought the Greeks and tried to take back the Old Temple. Once they got inside, they found one jar of oil that was only enough to burn one night. But instead it burned for 8 nights and this was a miracle. That is why the Chanukiah has eight candles.

Many Jewish people put their Chanukiah in the windows so other people know that they are Jewish. They do this because of their pride in being Jewish and to remember the courage that Judah Maccabee had. My family lives in an apartment building in New York and we put our candles in the window.

I learned that giving gifts on every night of Chanukkah is a new custom. A long time ago, people would not exchange gifts, they might just exchange pieces of chocolate and play dreidle games. In our house, we exchange gifts seven nights but on the last night, we give a gift to a group called Operation Gratitude. This is a form of tzedaka (Hebrew for charity).

Submitted by Jeremy as his “response and review” in November 2013. Great Job Jeremy!

#3 Listen and learn the candle lighting PRAYER. Download the text and read along

Listen to the Candle Lighting Blessing

Tamid Hanukah Blessings JPEG












#4 The Hanukkah VALUE of COURAGE is important. 

This is the story of Jonny Romano. Check it out.

#5 Review and Response

Tamid Kids at ComputerNow that you have watched the videos, read the story, and learned about Hanukkah, please respond to these questions. Watch the videos again, or search through these websites to learn more about hanukkah (myjewishlearning.com, urj.org, kveller.com). Good luck!

1. Who was Judah Maccabee and why is he important in Jewish History?
2. Why do Jews light candles for eight nights during Hanukkah?
3. What is the proper way to light the Chanukiah?
4. Find a grown-up and show them you can sing the candle lighting prayer
5. What is the connection between the story of Hanukkah and the life of Jonny Romano?
6. Is there one thing in your life that you would want to have more courage to face?
7. What is one new thing you learned about Hanukkah?

On the final site, these questions will be in a format with fields to submit directly to the educators at Tamid. 


#6 Play the Dreidle Game for FUN. You earned it!
Find your dreidle set in your Tamid Toolkit. Next,  Download the Rules and have Jewish fun with your family and friends. If you want, you watch this short video to see how the game is played. Have FUN!

NEW! Our favorite Hanukkah Videos in 5777

Need some help?

We’re here for you. At any time, if you have any questions, please contact one of our teachers so we can help you.

Also, at the end of the session, remember to review your responses in your Tamid Workbook so you can get credit for this lesson. Behatzlacha (Hebrew for good luck)!

You can reach Sarah at (646)360-0689 or connect@tamidnyc.org