A Modern-Day Miracle: Ways to Safely Celebrate Chanukah this Year

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Smells of latkes and sufganiyot sizzling in oil, the sweet chocolate taste of gelt, ever-spinning dreidel tops and the warmth of the menorah — yes, it is indeed that festive time of year again. Chanukah is coming early in 2021 with the first night fast approaching on Sunday, Nov. 28.

While Chanukah commemorates the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights, this year marks a modern-day miracle. Community members are once again able to come together and celebrate this holiday in person, a beloved tradition missed dearly since the pandemic began. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and its neighborhood Kehillot are providing safe, family-friendly opportunities for the whole community to partake in the Festival of Lights.

Visit jewishphilly.org/hanukkahguide for the full roundup of community events and registration details.


Shine a Light on Antisemitism
Tuesday, Nov. 30 | 11 a.m.
Love Park; Arch Street, Philadelphia

Celebrate Chanukah through advocating and sharing in the light of love and acceptance for the Jewish people. As part of a national initiative, the Jewish Federation is organizing an event to raise awareness of the danger of antisemitism in all of its modern-day forms. This year, stand together in person or virtually with the Jewish Federation, ADL, AJC, local politicians and other organizations to shine a light on these issues and dispel the darkness of hate.

Old York Road Community Chanukah Lighting
Tuesday, Nov. 30 | 5 p.m.
Baederwood Shoppes on the Fairway in Jenkintown

The third night’s the charm when it comes to Chanukah festivities. Join the Old York Road community for an outside candle-lighting. The menorah will not be the only part of this celebration to light up the night. Local cantors will bring the warmth and joy of the holiday through Chanukah songs. Gifts will be available for adults and kids who register before Sunday, Nov. 28. The rain date for this event is Wednesday, Dec. 1.

Center City Kehillah Chanukah Candle-Lighting
Wednesday, Dec. 1 | 5:15 p.m.
Rittenhouse Square Park; 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

Show your Chanukah love in the hub of the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Perfect for the whole family, make the fourth night of Chanukah one for the holiday memory books by joining the Center City community for a joyous and meaningful candle lighting in Rittenhouse Square Park. To make the night even sweeter, there will be sufganiyot (jelly donuts).

Bucks County Community Candle-Lighting
Thursday, Dec. 2 | 5-6 p.m.
Shady Brook Farm; 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley

Now, what could make a happier Chanukah than Shady Brook Farm?! All are welcome to join the Bucks County community for the fifth night of Chanukah, and enjoy crafts, singing, candle-lighting and goody bags. This program is sponsored by the Bucks County Kehillah, Temple Micah and Shady Brook Farm.

Spreading the Light
Saturday, Dec. 4 | 6 p.m.
Kaiserman JCC; 45 Haverford Road, Wynnewood

Light the night for the seventh evening of Chanukah. Join the Lower Merion Kehillah, Israeli American Council, Adath Israel and Kaiserman JCC for Havdalah, a light show, DJ, prizes, art contest and other goodies. This community-wide event will feature special guest Linda White, the founder and creator of Imagination Play Project, which provides opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to engage, design and connect with open-ended materials.

Chanukah Unite
Sunday, Dec. 5 | 3:30-6 p.m.
Temple University, Ambler Campus; 580 Meetinghouse Road, Ambler

Ready for an all-out Chanukah celebration?! Come out for the last night of the holiday and unite with the Buxmont synagogues, Chabad and the Kehillah for a festival spectacular. Fun for the whole community, cost of admission includes rides and games, entertainment and more. Plus, there will be a grand menorah lighting and kosher food for purchase.

Candle-Lighting at Boathouse Row
Sunday, Dec. 5 | 4 p.m.
Virtual Program

If you want to celebrate Chanukah with your community, but are not ready for in-person programming — do not worry; we have you covered! The City of Philadelphia will have a virtual experience, led by the Jewish Federation, for its annual candle-lighting at Boathouse Row this year.

Northeast Jewish Life Community Chanukah Celebration
Sunday, Dec. 5 | 6 p.m.
Hosted by House of Kosher; 9806 Bustleton Ave., Philadelphia

Show your ruach with Northeast Jewish Life. All are welcome to come and enjoy music by Eliyahu Bass, latkes and other nosh by House of Kosher, and candle-lighting by various community members.

The Kehillot are part of the Jewish Federation’s neighborhood initiative to foster a vibrant Jewish community throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. To learn more about your Kehillah or community group, contact Rachel Berger, director of Jewish life and learning, at [email protected]

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