Hanukkah begins tonight at sunset and ends next Wednesday, December 20th at sunset. What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is Hebrew for “Dedication.” It’s the festival of lights.

Hanukkah is an 8-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend, Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. It was then they found enough oil to illuminate the Temple lamp for eight days.

Did you know any of this? Some of you, yes, others no! I didn’t, but now I’m grateful I’m informed, so I can better celebrate with my Jewish friends.

Hanukkah is a time to light the memorah for eight nights, play with dreidels and eat special foods. Many people attend parties. It’s also a great time for parents to read books together with their children about Hanukkak. We found a few you might enjoy.

(Thanks to the publishers, authors, artists and librarians who made this post possible. I would not have produced this post without selections from http://www.amazon.com )


meorah with dreidel



Holiday House, June 1, 2012

No celebration of Hanukkah would be complete without recounting THE STORY of HANUKKAH, the events of more than two thousand years ago that the holiday commemorates. In a simple yet dramatic text with vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle that took place in the Temple in Jerusalem is retold. For readers who want to continue the festivities, a recipe for latkes and directions for playing dreidel are included.



Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Pub. Date Oct. 10, 2017

In QUEEN OF THE HANAKKAH DOSAS, being part of a Jewish and South Asian Indian family surely has delicious perks:

“Making Indian food that my mom ate as a kid for a Jewish holiday that my dad grew up with–that was a lucky combination.”

For the first-night-of-Hanukkah meal, a boy looks forward to making dosas–a crispy-on-the-edges, paper-thin South Asian-style crepe–with his mother. His one concern is his mischievous toddler sister, Sadie, who climbs up just about anything. Sharing his discomfort with his elders elicits little response, even as Sadie clambers on a table with a nearby full glass.

As the family goes to greet their guests, they manage to get locked out. The boy quickly realizes that Sadie’s climbing prowess might save the day–and the dosas–but only if he can finish his special song and convince Sadie to open the door.

In her back-flap bio, author Pamela Rosenberg confesses to locking her own family out of the house as a toddler, an experience she channels in Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas. Rosenberg enhances her toddler-tale by adding delicious diversity, substituting delectable dosas and sambar for traditional latkes and applesauce for this multicultural crew (recipes included at the book’s end). British artist Anjan Sarkar’s bright illustrations add a celebratory feel.



Transcontinental Music Publishing, Pub. Date, Nov. 2017


THE COMPLETE HANUKKAH SONGBOOK, is a unique collection of Chanukah songs from many traditions. Featuring over 80 pieces in piano/vocal/guitar format, the contents include songs from Jewish folk traditions, all the Chanukah standards, and many new songs by today’s best Jewish songwriters. A wonderful resource for schools, synagogues or for fun at home!

Series: Transcontinental Music Folios
Instrument: Piano and Vocal
Skill Level: Early Intermediate
Media: Book

Composer: Various
Publisher: Transcontinental Music Publications



Kar-Ben, Pub. Date, Aug. 2014

LATKE (is) THE LUCKY DOG. A family rescues a golden brown dog from the animal shelter and names it Latke in honor of the beginning of Hanukkah. Each successive night, he gets in a bit of trouble, eating a platter of sufganiyot (fried donuts), tearing open presents, chewing up candles, and drooling on the Hanukkah gelt, and each night the family gets a little mad and then forgives him.

A new pet is a growing experience for both the family and the pup, and the narration focuses on Latke’s gratitude for being taken in (“I am one lucky dog!”), even as he hopes not to lose the family’s affection while learning to function in their home.

1st grade, 24 pages, 2-7


Happy Hanukkah to all of our Jewish blog followers!


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