December 7 – 15, 2023 | 25 Kislev – 3 Tevet 5784

Chanukah (חֲנֻכָּה), named for the Hebrew word for “dedication,” commemorates the Maccabees’ defeat of the Syrians, which led to liberation of the Jews and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C.E. Chanukah also is known as the “Festival of Lights” because of the custom of lighting bright lights in celebration for eight days. Today, this is done most commonly by lighting candles in the nine-branched Chanukah menorah (chanukiyah), eating foods fried in oil such as latkes and sufganiot (filled donuts) and gift giving.

Chanukah Events at Temple Emanu-El

Daily Sunset Service 

Join the Readers Panel as they light candles on each night of Chanukah during Daily Sunset Service.

Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays at 5:30 PM
Online Only 

Emanu-El Downtown Chanukah Makers Workshop

Tinker, create and play while learning all about Jewish holidays and culture. Create your own menorah to celebrate Chanukah! Emanu-El Makers is free of charge to all Religious School Lab learners. All others $25 per person.

Wednesday, December 6
Emanu-El Downtown | 429 West 20th Street

Special Multifaith Chanukah Candle Lighting

All are welcome to join us on the steps of the Fifth Avenue Sanctuary the first night of Chanukah for a special Multifaith Chanukah Candle Lighting at Temple Emanu-El, in partnership with the New York Board of Rabbis.

We are honored to welcome distinguished guests:

  • Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
  • Reverend A.R. Bernard, Christian Cultural Center
  • Sabeeha Rehman, Author of We Refuse to Be Enemies: How Muslims and Jews Can Make Peace, One Friendship at a Time

We encourage you to invite your friends and family of all faiths to join us in this celebration of interfaith fellowship and unity as we bring light into the world, one candle at a time.

Thursday, December 7 at 5:00 PM
Fifth Avenue Sanctuary steps | Corner of 5th Avenue and 65th Street

Chanukah Shabbat Family Service and Celebration of Light Community Party

You’re invited to our Chanukah Shabbat Family Service and community party. Get your kids into the Chanukah spirit with

  • Light-themed crafts and projects
  • LED Golf
  • Bounce House
  • and more

We will share the story and significance of Chanukah, provide opportunities for learning and connection, and serve kid favorites and Chanukah treats.

  • 4:30 – 6:00 PM Party and dinner for young families and nursery school
  • 6:00 – 7:00 PM Chanukah Shabbat service (note: young families and nursery school may leave at 6:20 PM)
  • 7:00 – 9:00 PM Party and dinner for families in our religious school and those with children ages 5 and up

Friday, December 8 | $36 per family, includes dinner
Temple Emanu-El | One East 65th Street

Special Chanukah Oneg and Lecture with Dr. Alyssa Cady

After the Shabbat evening service, join us for a special Chanukah oneg followed by a lecture and Q&A with Director of the Temple Emanu-El Center for Interfaith Dialogue Dr. Alyssa Cady on the history, meaning and evolution of Chanukah.

Friday, December 8 | 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Temple Emanu-El | Leventritt 402

Tot Shabbat: Chanukah Edition

Get ready for a fun and festive Chanukah celebration for your little ones! We’re calling all our pre-school and nursery families to join Rabbi Amy Ehrlich and our vibrant Song Leader, Yael Greene, for joyful music and cheer. Dance, sing, make memories, meet other families and get your little ones in the holiday spirit.

Saturday, December 9 | 9:00 – 9:30 AM
Temple Emanu-El | Leventritt 402

Emanu-El Downtown Chanukah Teddy Bear Dance Party 

Get squishy. Get cuddly. Get ready to let loose. Join us for a Teddy Bear Dance Party to celebrate Chanukah. Spin like a dreidel on the dance floor and let all the energy out! We’ll have some awesome crafting for Chanukah, latkes, a donut robot, and so much more. Come ready to bring light with your favorite people and add some PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) to our world!

Saturday, December 9 | 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Emanu-El Downtown | 429 W 20th Street

A Hub Chanukah Party (Ages 21-39)

Dreidels, gifts, sufganiyot…you’re never too old (or young) to celebrate Chanukah! This Chanukah, we will throw an epic celebration for Young Professionals in NYC. A night of surprises, music, fun and an oil-infused culinary extravaganza by star chefs Jake Cohen and Joan Nathan. Get ready to re-experience the Festival of Lights by celebrating with hundreds of other Hubbers at The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center.

Saturday, December 9 | 8:00 – 9:30 PM
Temple Emanu-El | One East 65th Street

Congregational Chanukah-Lighting 

Religious school families and members are invited to gather for a heartwarming candle lighting ceremony. Join us for a special blessing this holiday season.

Monday, December 11 | 5:45 PM
Temple Emanu-El | Wise Hall

Young Members Circle Chanukah Party

Please join the Young Members Circle for candle lighting and some schmoozing. We are excited to partner with Eat, Drink & Be Merry Hospitality for a cocktail party with festive drinks and classic Chanukah bites like latkes and sufganiyot. Plus ones are welcome.

Monday, December 11 | 7:00 – 9:30 PM
The Stumble Inn | 1454 Second Avenue

Downtown Emanu-El Dinner with Dana

Join our Let’s Play teacher, Dana Glat, for an intimate Chanukah pizza party. Visit our classroom, light the candles, and make friends, old and new. Suitable for children ages 0–4.

Tuesday, December 12 | 4:00 – 5:15 PM
Emanu-El Downtown | 429 W 20th Street

Baby Shabbat: Chanukah Edition

Enjoy the company of other families as we celebrate Chanukah with music, blessings and lighting the menorah! Baby Shabbat is a 30-minute program led by Tkiya and Rabbi Amy Ehrlich. The program is designed for children 18 months and younger.

Friday, December 15 | 9:15  – 9:45 AM
Temple Emanu-El | One East 65th Street