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					 HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS                                                                              CHANUKAH

                                Our Jewish Holidays & Customs!
      E A R LY
  Birth to 6 Years

For Parents & Teachers of
  Precious Little People
 enrolled in Jewish Early
  Childhood Programs

                                Chanukah is a holiday celebrated for eight days beginning on the 25th day
                                of the Hebrew month of Kislev. The word Chanukah means dedication
     633 Third Avenue,
   New York, NY 10017           The holiday commemorates the victory of the Macabees over the armies of
                                Syria in 165 B.C.E., and the subsequent liberation and rededication of the
    For further information,    Temple in Jerusalem. Legend tells us that there are eight days because, when
   please call 212.650.4111,
                                the Maccabees regained control of the Temple in Jerusalem and wanted to
     fax 212.650.4199, or
                                purify and rededicate it, they had a small cruse of oil, which would only last for
    e-mail, or visit   one day. Miraculously that small amount lasted for eight days, enough time to
                                acquire new oil.
                                However, there is another more likely tradition that states that the eight days
                                of Chanukah are based on the eight days of Sukkot, the closest holiday to
                                Chanukah that the Jews hadn't been able to celebrate while the Temple had
   [mçnw hç[n                   been in Syrian hands.
                                For us today, Chanukah is a celebration of religious freedom, rededication to
   Na-aseh v’nish’ma            our Jewish values and a joyous festival of lights.
   Take action with             The modern home celebration of Chanukah centers around the lighting of the
    understanding               chanukiyah, a special menorah for Chanukah; unique foods, latkes and jelly
                                doughnuts; and special songs and games.

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HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS                                                                        CHANUKAH

There is one candle for each night of Chanukah, plus the shamash, or “helper” candle that is used to
light all the others. All eight of the Chanukah lights should be the same height; the shamash is usually
placed higher or lower on the chanukiyah, to differentiate itself from the actual Chanukah lights.
The Chanukah menorah is called a chanukiyah.
The entire family can share one chanukiyah, or each person can light his or her own.
It is a good idea to place a tray or foil beneath the chanukiyah for the dripping wax!
The candles are placed in the chanukiyah each night from the right side to the left (the same way
Hebrew is read) but they are lit each night from left to right (the newest candle is lit first).
On Erev Shabbat (Friday evening), the chanukiyah is lit before the Shabbat candles. Light and bless the
Chanukah lights first and then the Shabbat candles.
First light the shamash then use it to kindle the other Chanukah lights.
There are three blessings said on the first night of Chanukah, and then two each subsequent night.

Each night:
Blessed is Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, by whose mitzvot we are
sanctified and who commands us to kindle the lights of Chanukah.

Blessed is Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who performed
wondrous deeds for our ancestors in days of old, at this season.

The first night only:
Blessed is Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, for giving us life,
sustaining us and for enabling us to reach this day.

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HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS                                                                          CHANUKAH

T easy chanukiyot to make for a family or classroom activity:

Craft Spoon Chanukiyah
This is a simple menorah even very young children can make and use during the eight day celebration.
It’s safe—no real flame—and is a good craft for a classroom and home as well.
• 9 wooden craft spoons per menorah
• Paint and brushes or markers
• Knife or sharp scissors (for adult use)
• 12 small plastic cups
1. Make flames on nine wooden spoons with yellow and orange markers or paint.
2. Cut a 3/4-inch slit on the bottom of nine cups.
3. Cut the bottoms from the remaining three cups and stack them for the center candle.
   Children can safely light their chanukiyot by inserting the correct number of “spoon flames” into the
   cups—one for each night and one for the helper candle.

Baby Food Jar Chanukiyah
• 8 or 9 cleaned small baby food jars
• 1 large baby food jar (optional for the shamash—
   a small one can also be used)
• modeling clay
• jewel stickers, sequins or flat sided plastic jewels
• craft glue
• cotton swab
• glitter glue or glass writing pen
• Chanukah candles
1. Decorate the baby food jars with the jewels, sequins, etc. (Using the jewel stickers is
   easiest and best for younger children.)
When you decorate the shamash jar, you may want to write a message using glitter glue or a glass-writing
pen. Allow plenty of time to dry. If you do not have large jars, you can use a small jar for the shamash
and either use a larger candle or make the clay holder taller.
2. Form nine balls with modeling clay. Place a ball of clay in the base of each jar to hold the candles.
3. Line up the jars with the shamash in the middle to form your chanukiyah.

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HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS                                                                        CHANUKAH

Ideas for edible chanukiyot:
Marshmallow Menorah
Materials (for each menorah):
• Paper plate
• 10 marshmallows
• Canned frosting
• Milk
• Food coloring
• Birthday candles or small pretzel sticks
Instructions: On a paper plate, line up 9 marshmallows. Glue them down with the frosting. On the middle
or end one, add one more marshmallow so that it is taller for the shamash (helper candle). Paint them
with milk mixed with food coloring. Push small birthday-cake candles into the marshmallows for a
chanukiyah that you can really use or use pretzel sticks for one you can really eat.
A more healthy chanukiyah can be made from bananas and pretzels:

Materials (for each menorah):
• ½ a banana sliced length wise
• 8 or 9 pretzel sticks
• 8 or 9 white raisins
• paper plates
Slice bananas in half lengthwise. Put the banana cut side down on a plate. Push raisins into one end of
each pretzel to represent the flame and push each pretzel into the banana to make a row of candles.

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HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS                                                                         CHANUKAH

Milk Carton Dreidel
Here’s an easy way to make a dreidel using small milk cartons!
• pencils
• glue
• paint and paintbrushes
• small milk cartons or boxes
1. Clean out and fold back tops of milk cartons.
2. Mix a little glue with paint and let children paint boxes.
3. On each side draw one of the following letters: ç h g n. These letters stand for “A Great Miracle
   Happened There.”
4. When paint is dry, poke the pencil through the box from top downward, so point is on the bottom.
5. You’re ready to spin!
Here’s how to play the game:
   Use pennies, nuts, raisins or chocolate coins (gelt) as tokens.
   A player spins the dreidel. When it stops, the letter that is facing up decides the outcome.
    n NUN—nothing happens - next player spins the dreidel.
    g GIMEL—player takes all tokens in the pot.
    h HEY—player takes half of the pot.
    ç SHIN—player must put one token into the pot.
Here’s a great craft for toddlers and twos, as well as older children:
Craft Foam Dreidel Refrigerator Magnets
• White craft glue
• Dreidel stencils
• Magnet strip with adhesive back
• Colored foam craft sheets
• Self sticking foam craft shapes or other Chanukah stickers
• Optional glitter pens (or loose glitter) for older children
• Black or dark marker
• Scissors
How to make it:
   Ahead of time, using a dreidel stencil or pattern make a 3 or 4 inch dreidle out of foam craft sheets
   for each child. Let each child decorate it with self -stick foam shapes or Chanukah stickers.
   Cut a half-inch piece of magnet off the strip and press it firmly on the back of the dreidel.

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HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS                                                                       CHANUKAH

Chanukah books with story                                 parents to send back a little history and
stretching activities:                                    description of the menorahs they use at home.
                                                          Using this information to make a class book.
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes                              Let each child draw a picture of his or her
by Linda Glasser                                          chanukiyah.
With more company coming, Rachel borrows
some potatoes from the neighbor so her mother
                                                       The Hanukkah Mice
can make more latkes, but when kindly Mrs.
                                                       by Steven Kroll
Greenberg won't join their Chanukah celebration,
                                                       It’s the first night of Chanukah, and the mouse
Rachel must find a way to convince the lonely
                                                       family secretly watch the Silman family celebrate.
neighbor to come.
                                                       Then they watch Rachel open a gift of a dollhouse
Story stretching activities:                           Just the right size for the mice. While the
• Make latkes together.                                family is asleep, the mouse family explores the
• Talk about ways you can be kind and friendly         dollhouse. On each night of the holiday, they
   to other people. Make Chanukah cards to send        enjoy the small pieces of furniture and dishes of
   to someone special.                                 food that magically appear. Finally, on the eighth
• Talk about your Chanukah guest list. If you          night of Chanukah, a small miracle occurs.
   were having a party who would you invite?
   This is a great circle time topic and also a good
                                                       • Make mice finger puppets to act out the story.
   one for family discussion.
Nathan’s Hanukkah Bargain                              • 25 or 5-cent coin rollers, available at banks
by Jacqueline Dembar Greene                            • 2 very small paper half circles for ears
Nathan has carefully saved his quarters and now        • a 3 inch piece of yarn for a tail
he has five dollars with which to buy a Chanukah       • markers
menorah of his very own. His search for one he         • glue-on google eyes (optional)
loves and can afford is unsuccessful. Then his         Procedure:
grandfather explains how he bargained with side-       1. Fold one end of the wrapper to make a point
walk peddlers when he was a boy and they find a           and fold the point down to form the face and
special shop.                                             the nose.
                                                       2. Glue on half circles for the ears and either
Story stretching activities:                              draw or glue on a mouth and nose.
• Make chanukiyot using one of the ideas above         3. Attach the yarn to the back for the tail.
   or your own idea.
• In school, talk about the menorahs children          If you have a doll house, decorate it for
   have at home. Send a note home asking               Chanukah and put a small family of felt or
                                                       cardboard mice in it.

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HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS                                                                      CHANUKAH

Hanukkah Moon                                        Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah
by Deborah Da Costa                                  by Sylvia A. Rous
When Isobel is invited to Aunt Luisa's for           After having watched the Shapiro family celebrate
Chanukah, she's not sure what to expect. Aunt        the different nights of Chanukah, Sammy Spider
Luisa has recently arrived from Mexico. An           finds that in the end he gets to share the holiday
unusual Chanukah story with a multi-cultural         with them.
focus, this title celebrates a little-known custom   Story stretching activities:
of the Latin-Jewish community.
                                                     • Use colored plastic dreidels or Chanukah
• Activity: Make your own dreidel pinyata out of       candles for color recognition, sorting and
  a paper bag and fill it with Chanukah candy or       counting activities.
  other goodies.
                                                     My First Chanukah (Board Book)
It's Hanukkah Time!                                  by Tomie dePaola
by Latifa Berry Kropf,
photographed by Tod Cohen                            This book describes the traditional celebration
                                                     of Chanukah, including the lighting of candles
Vibrant full-color photos show students lighting     on the menorah, the eating of latkes and the
the menorah, playing dreidel and telling the story   spinning of the dreidel. Great for toddlers and
of Judah Maccabee when they invite their grand-      twos as well as older children.
parents to a Chanukah party. Kids will love seeing
children their own age in the pictures.
                                                     Here are some other books for
                                                     very young children:
The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle
by Jacqueline Jules                                  Fun Shapes Chanukah by Frank Daniel

The Ziz, a big bird with a little brain, is taught   A square becomes a box of Chanukah gelt and a
sharing and cooperation in this picture book.        dreidel, and other shapes become other Chanukah
It is the story of a giant mythical bird that must
share his oil with Judah Macabee so he can light
                                                     My First Menorah by Salina Yoon
the Temple menorah. Recommended by the
Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee as a              This board book lets children follow the
Great Chanukah Book for Kids.                        eight-night menorah-lighting ritual of Chanukah
                                                     by counting the “lit” tinfoil candles on each
This book is a good introduction for a
                                                     successive gatefold.
conversation about the value of friendship,
working together and tikkun olam. Ages: 3-7

                                                                      UNION   FOR   REFORM JUDAISM •   7
 HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS                                                                           CHANUKAH

      E A R LY                  Some additional activity                 • Candle Matching Game: Using a
                                ideas for toddlers and                     box of colored Chanukah candles
                                twos;                                      or a set of candles made from
  Birth to 6 Years                                                         cardboard with two of each
                                • Clay Dough Menorah: Give each            color, or a set of different
                                  child a big ball of clay dough.          colored dreidels, play a matching
For Parents & Teachers of         Show the children how to                 game by picking up one color of
  Precious Little People          flatten the ball. Give children a        candle or dreidel and singing
                                  Chanukah candle and let them             the following song to the tune
 enrolled in Jewish Early
                                  make 8 or 9 holes in the clay.           of Are You Sleeping?
  Childhood Programs              Let it dry and they will have
                                  their very own chanukiyah.                I have a candle. I have a candle.

                                • Discovery Bottles: Fill a wide            It is red. It is red.
                                  mouth clear plastic bottle with           Help me find another one.
                                  rice. Insert a few small dreidels,
                                                                            Help me find another one.
                                  candles, Chanukah coins, etc., in
                                  the bottle. Once filled, simply fill      Here it is. Here it is.
                                  the bottle cap with hot glue and       And finally, here is an activity little
                                  attach it. Let set until dry and       ones never get tired of doing: Let
                                  you have a great sensory activity.     them practice putting real candles
     633 Third Avenue,
                                  As you roll the bottle, different      into an unbreakable menorah all
   New York, NY 10017             objects will come to the surface       by themselves.
                                  to be discovered.
    For further information,
                                • Cookie Cutter Stamping: Have the
   please call 212.650.4111,
     fax 212.650.4199, or
                                  children print using Chanukah
    e-mail,      cookie cutters (the plastic ones or visit     work the best) and tempera paint
                                  in a shallow container. This is an          idea that can be used throughout
                                  the year, using different shaped
   [mçnw hç[n
   Na-aseh v’nish’ma
   Take action with

                                                                            UNION   FOR   REFORM JUDAISM •   8

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