Hanukkah: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration


Create a meaningful and happy Hanukkah in your home—with story, celebration, food and song.

This newly-designed, easy-to-use edition of a classic spiritual sourcebook offers updated information, more family ideas, and new resources for every aspect of your holiday celebration.

Information on every aspect of...

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Hanukkah: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration

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Create a meaningful and happy Hanukkah in your home—with story, celebration, food and song.

This newly-designed, easy-to-use edition of a classic spiritual sourcebook offers updated information, more family ideas, and new resources for every aspect of your holiday celebration.

Information on every aspect of Hanukkah is covered, including:

  • The story of Hanukkah
  • Celebrating—for families of every constellation
  • Songs and prayers in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish (with clear transliterations)
  • Recipes for traditional and modern Hanukkah foods
  • “December Dilemmas”—coping with other traditions’ celebrations
  • Firsthand explanations and ideas from real-life families around America

Hands-on advice and practical suggestions invite families into Hanukkah’s spirituality and joys, from the making of luscious latkes and Hanukkah crafts to the stories of the heroism and the miracle that are remembered every year with the lighting of the hanukkiyah.

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Editorial Reviews

Egon Mayer
"Will shed its bright light for all eight days of Hanukkah, and then some-deals sensitively with the traditions of the holiday, as well as with the variety of ways in which modern Jews attempt to grapple with the complex emotions and celebrations of the Christmas and Hanukkah seasons."
Center for Jewish Studies, City University of New York
Publishers Weekly
This comprehensive guide to Hanukkah, now in its second edition, will be appreciated by countless Jewish families seeking creative and memorable ways to celebrate the holiday. It opens with Wolfson's nostalgic foreword about Hanukkahs past, recounting how the experience of growing up Jewish in Omaha, Nebraska, helped him to articulate and understand his faith-and how he has sought, through the observance of Hanukkah, to pass on that identity to his children. What follows is a fine and resourceful manual about all aspects of the celebration, including recipes, crafts, gifts, games, prayers, decorations and songs. There are even corny Hanukkah jokes ("oil's well that ends well") and whole chapters on food: "If it is a real Jewish event, it involves food," Wolfson tells us. Especially helpful is a section offering parents suggestions to help their children understand the "December Dilemmas" of Hanukkah and Christmas. (Aug.)
Children's Literature
In 2nd Edition, this popular all-purpose guide to Hanukkah is comprehensive, entertaining, jam-packed with innovative writing and ideas, and refreshing to read. Along with the requisite What is Hanukkah? and The Hanukkah Ritual, other chapters deal with music, recipes, games, gifts and decorations. A pronunciation guide is included as well as pictures of the correct sequence of lighting the candles on consecutive nights and both Hebrew and English words to a number of songs. One entire important section focuses on The December Dilemmas: the relationship Hanukkah, by virtue of its place on the calendar, bears to Christmas; how interfaith families and Jews by choice might handle the holidays; what is respect for another's celebration and what is abrogation of one's own. Black-and-white photographs throughout. 2001 (1996), Jewish Lights,
— Judy Chernak
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580231220
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Series: The Art of Jewish Living
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 691,966
  • Product dimensions: 7.01 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Ron Wolfson, visionary educator and inspirational speaker, is Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles and a cofounder of Synagogue 3000. He is author of Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community; The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven: Reviewing and Renewing Your Life on Earth; Be Like God: God's To-Do List for Kids; God's To-Do List: 103 Ways to Be an Angel and Do God's Work on Earth; Hanukkah, Passover and Shabbat, all Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs Art of Jewish Living family guides to spiritual celebrations; The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community; A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort: A Guide to Jewish Bereavement and Comfort; and, with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, What You Will See Inside a Synagogue (all Jewish Lights), a book for children ages 6 and up. He contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Dr. Ron Wolfson is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Building Good Tents: Envisioning the Synagogue of the Future
  • God's To-Do List
  • The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven
  • Blessings and Kisses: The Power of the Jewish Family
  • A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort

Click here to contact the author.

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Table of Contents

Preface by Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis Foreword Using This Text PART I: The Art of Hanukkah 1. What Is Hanukkah? 2. The Ever-Evolving Story of Hanukkah 3. The Hanukkah Ritual 4. Hadlakat Neirot: Candlelighting 5. Haneirot Hallalu 6. Maoz Tzur 7. Al Hanissim 8. The Hanukkah Gallery The Meal Games Gifts Decorations Songs PART II: The December Dilemmas The New Reality Hilkhot Christmas The True Story of Christmas Who's Celebrating? The Unique Challenges for Intermarried and Interfaith Families Religious Holidays in the Public Domain Confusion in the Marketplace Pseudo-Christmas and Family Gatherings Jews-by-Choice and Christmas Kosher Turkey for Christmas Dinner? Solving the December Dilemmas Afterword Selected Bibliography About the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs About Jewish Lights

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"A glance at the table of contents, from storytelling to recipes to theology, offers evidence of the author's comprehensive grasp of the family. The book is helpful to the family that strives to induct its members into the spirituality and joys of Jewishness and Judaism."-
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