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Amongst the best known of Jewish holidays, this eight-day feast of lights is always an opportunity for community gathering and celebration. Young and old, we come together to light our chanukiyot (or eight-branched menorahs), eat donuts and latkes, and throw a big party. At this season we also focus on the mystical meanings of light in the darkness.



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What's happening this year?  |  What is Chanukah?  |   Where is the Meaning?


What's Happening This Year? | Our plans for Chanukah 2020

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This year Community leaders and staff will be hosting a zoom gathering each night of Chanukah to share in lighting our Chanukiyot together, and sharing interactive short experiences. These may be songs, stories, teachings, group sharing, movement, or short meditations. Come gather with our larger NK family to bring in light!  



  • First night, Thursday Dec 10- Rabbi Diane Lakein | Click Here
  • Second night, Friday Dec 11 - Chanukah/Shabbat experience : 6–640pm Shabbat Blessings and Songs with Brooke, Ari and Rabbi Diane; 6:40-7:10 Shabbat Service with Ba’alat Tefillah Michelle Wolf, Sheldon Sands and friends. Click here to learn more and to register for this
  • Third night: Saturday, Dec 12 – Jenny Schiff | Click Here
  • Fourth Night: Sunday, Dec 13 – Robin Youngelman | Click Here
  • Fifth Night: Monday, Dec 14 – Dena Gitterman | Click Here
  • Sixth Night: Tuesday, Dec 15 - Brooke Fisher and family | Click Here
  • Seventh Night: Wednesday, Dec 16 – Maggid Charna | Click Here
  • Eighth Night: Thursday, Dec 17 - Ba’alat Tefillah Michelle Wolf | Click Here


A Little History | So what is Chanukah and why do we celebrate it?

The Hebrew word Chanukah means dedication, it is a holiday where we celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple. In the second century BCE, Jerusalem was controlled by the Syrian-Greek empire. Jews were not allowed to practice our religion or culture and were actually forced to follow the ways of our oppressors. A small group of radical Jews led by Judah the Macabee pushed off the Syrian-Greek empire and liberated the holy city and holy temple from them. One of the first steps to rededicating the temple was to light the Neir Tamid (the oil flame that burns constantly in the temple, you see this same fire in all synagogues today, often above the Ark which holds the Torah). However, there was only one small jar of oil left in the temple, new oil would take 8 days to be made, this small jar was only enough for one day. Then a miracle happened and the oil lasted for the 8 days needed to make new oil. We now celebrate this holiday and the miracle that made it possible. 

The Mystical Meanings | Some Psycho-Spiritual Meanings and Themes

Chanukah, like all other Jewish Holidays, has a myriad of themes to connect to on a psycho-spiritual level. Each holiday has the ability for interpretation and reflection. Each year the holiday can mean something else because, as the years pass we change, and how we see the holiday changes with us. Here are some themes that you may want to work with this year or in years to come.

  • What does it mean to stand up for what is right? Where in your life have you done this recently? Where in your life could you do this now? 
  • What is the light you have inside of yourself you wish to kindle in the darkness around you? How can you feed it and help it grow each day?
  • What deeper miracles happen all the time that you don't even notice?  What would your life be like if you gave thanks for some hidden miracle every day?
  • Enough is Enough. How do you know when you have enough? How do you over-consume when you don't need to? What are the little things that matter more than the big things?
  • Public Jewish Display. What would it mean to you to celebrate this where all could see? What does that idea bring up for you? Chanukah is to be celebrated in public for others to see, what if anything stands in your way of doing this? How are you proud of yourself and how do you hide yourself?
  • And more! Come up with your own. share them with others and with us!
Mon, May 17 2021 6 Sivan 5781