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Hanukkah Booklet


Available in on-screen reading friendly (PDF) and printer-friendly, downloadable (PDF) versions.

For more booklets, visit our Booklets for People in Interfaith Relationships page.

Hanukkah is one of the most home-based and family-centered of the Jewish holidays.

A child’s delight, it can be full of gift-giving, games, parties, and good food. Based on an historical event in post-biblical times, it is a minor holiday whose impact exceeds its status because of the need to party in the midst of the coldest and darkest season of the year.

But what is the holiday all about? This booklet explains the history of Hanukkah, the symbolism and significance of lighting candles for eight nights, the blessings that accompany the lighting of the candles, the holiday's foods, the game of dreidels, and more!

A guide through the why and how of the winter festival of Hanukkah, this booklet can also be used:

  • as the foundation for a class on Hanukkah for family education;
  • as a handout for new synagogue or community members;
  • to help interfaith families — and all families — who need a refresher on Hanukkah's signficance;
  • as a handout for religious schools, community gatherings and events during the winter season.




Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple."
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