Chanukah’s Sweet History

Money, chocolate and the Festival of Lights.
Special To The Jewish Week

Money and Chanukah go way back, all the way back to the victory of the ancient Maccabees over the Syrian Hellenists. Our foil-covered chocolate gelt recalls the booty distributed by the Maccabean victors, including coins to Jewish widows, soldiers and orphans, possibly at the very first celebration of Chanukah, when the Temple was rededicated in 165 BCE.

Coin of the realm: From ancient Israel to your Chanukah table. Mark Hurvitz

This Weekend: The Festival Of Lights Shines At The Jewish Heritage Festival

Chanukah begins early this year but you can get a jump on the festivities by attending what promises to be an eclectic and interesting day at the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy Fifth Jewish Heritage Festival on Sunday, November 3.  The all-day festival features events that will please a range of tastes: walking tours exploring neighborhood synagogues, including three of the oldest synagogues in New York City; a vintage goods benefit sale and a special presentation, "Gals From the Hood."

The Mystical Lion. Shoshanah Brombacher

Boston Mayor Menino Proclaims 'Thanksgivukkah Day'

Staff writer

The once-in-a-lifetime confluence on Thanksgiving and Chanukah next month is getting to be a big deal – at least in Boston.

Denying Discrimination, Hobby Chain To Sell Chanukah Items


The president of Hobby Lobby said the Oklahoma-based chain will carry Chanukah items in its stores near areas with large Jewish populations. He also said he would investigate the claim that an employee displayed hostility toward Jews when asked about Chanukah decorations.

Steve Green in an interview with The Associated Press published Saturday said the items will be in his crafts stores in New York and New Jersey by November.

Hobby Lobby has "deep respect for the Jewish faith," its president says. Photo via

Chanukah: A History, In Verse

Of our Chanukah I write, when we drew the swords to fight.
You have heard of the eight nights, but not how they came to light.

It started when Antiochus was out to conquer land,
His new Hellenized empire was all set to expand.
And there were many foolish Jews, supported his command,
They'd give up their religion if deemed popular demand.

The Jewish High-Priest Menelaus promoted a decree,

A latter-day Chanukah miracle: the world's largest menorah, lit by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in Manhattan. Getty Images

Eight Days Of Chanukah Videos: Day 5

Lipa Schmeltzer: "Believe In A Miracle."

Producer Danny Finkelman and Lipa Schmeltzer's 2012 Chanukah video aims to capture the overwhelming joy and wonder of this most special of holidays. 

Together with composer and executive producer Cecelia Margules, the trio presents "Believe In A Miracle," an enthusiastic anthem to the Festival of Lights, as well as an exuberant reminder that even during difficult times, miracles are all around us on a daily basis.

Eight Days Of Chanukah Videos: Day 4

The Maccabeats Latest Video- Shine

Music video for "Shine," an original 2012 song by the Maccabeats.

Video by Uri Westrich


Eight Days Of Chanukah Videos: Day 3

The Great Menorah Debate


This 2010 video, "The Great Menorah Debate," is from Neal Katz's CD "Be A Light: Chanukah Songs for Grown Ups."


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