Chanukah

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Everyone (non-involved Jews, and even non-Jews) loves Chanukah: lighting candles, the food (especially jelly doughnuts!), the songs, playing dreidel, etc. It's a fun, interactive, non-intimidating Jewish holiday ritual, and there's something beautiful and comforting about lighting candles, whether it's with your family, or your roommates or hallmates. And there's no better way to celebrate 'pirsum hanes' than by spreading some good old holiday cheer! Here are two ideas how to connect with and share meaningful Jewish experiences with uninvolved Jewish students, through the holiday of Chanukah:

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[edit] Candle lighting stations

Instead of just lighting in one building (Hillel), in some public square (Chabad), or lighting by yourself in your room - try setting up candle lighting stations all around campus. Dorms/college houses/apartment buildings are an ideal place to start, and fit with the theme of lighting in your "house". Use the stations as gathering points for Jews in the building/ area, and create a micro-Jewish community around that. Who knows - maybe dozens or hundreds of people will show up to light candles and meet other Jews - people have told us it was their most meaningful experience of the year!

[edit] What you need to do:

  1. Map out the main living locations on campus and where it would be feasible to light (dorms, frat houses, apartment buildings)
  2. Find a contact person for each location (someone who lives there and cares enough about Chanukah to be invested in this)
  3. Find a good location to light in each location - somewhere that could be considered the entrance way, and in a public location
  4. Get permission: speak to the residence staff or house dean (in person works best). Speak to them about why and how you want to do this, stressing that all necessary safety precautions will be made, it will deter people from lighting unlawfully and hazardously in their rooms, and it will be a fun, communal house activity open to all. Offer to have people watching the candles whenever they are lit, or whatever else they think would be reasonable. Offer to meet with Safety officials to figure something out, if need be.
  5. Once you get permission and figure out the exact times and places, start advertising: word of mouth (best!), facebook event, hanging up flyers, an email to the entire house, get each floor's RA to include it in their weekly emails, etc. If Chabad is giving out menorahs, have them give out a flyer with the lighting locations/times. Have Hillel send out an email to everyone and put the locations and times on their website.
* Here's a good flyer template that you can download, edit and use (thanks Mikey Schiff!)
6. Make a googledoc with candlelighting locations and times so people can sign up for shifts to watch the candles (e.g. Penn 2012)
7. Make sure you have all the materials: (H2H will reimburse you for it)
  1. extra menorahs - see if Hillel/Chabad will give you some
  2. a table or lighting platform
  3. tin foil to cover the tables
  4. sheets with the blessings in hebrew/english/transliterated
  5. dreidels
  6. gelt
  7. a "Happy Chanukah" sign
8. Have fun!

[edit] Chanukah caroling

In the spirit of the holiday season (and to borrow from our Christian brethren), go out and do some 'Chanukah Caroling'! It's not too crazy - just bringing some good food, joyous song, and jolly Chanukah spirit to people throughout your building, in other buildings, or anywhere around campus. People will came out of the woodwork ("Are you singing Hanukah songs?! Can you please sing to me, I'm Jewish too!"), and you'll have a chance to meet and connect with so many new people

[edit] What to do:

  • Spread the word and recruit a group of Chanukah-celebrating students who wanna go out and have some fun!
    • (Not necessary, but) ideally people would have musical instruments, singing abilities, and outgoing personalities.
  • Set up a schedule when to go to which places, and who's going where. This might depend on finals schedules, other Chanukah events, and when people are likely to be available.
    • We suggest sending groups of 5-10 together - so it's exciting and energetic, but not too overwhelming, and hopefully enough people to connect with and remember all the random people who show up
    • Make a googledoc where people can signup and coordinate (e.g. Penn 2010)
  • Get supplies:
    • Food - get Hillel/Chabad/H2H to sponsor doughnuts and/or chanukah gelt)
    • Instruments and songsheets
    • Candle lighting materials (menorahs, candles, matches, tinfoil) - ditto on Hillel/Chabad/H2H sponsoring
  • Get out and spread some joy!
    • Make sure to bring your instruments, extra menorahs and candles, food, and smiles :)
    • Plan to spend an hour per place. If people have more time and are still excited, target a few nearby locations - but don't overburden yourselves.

[edit] Where to go:

  • Anchoring yourselves at rooms/apartments of friends or other religious/Chanukah-celebrating students will probably make it less weird for you. You can start there and then see where it takes you, or play music along the way and see who peeks out of their room, etc.
  • Make sure to frequent the #Candle_lighting_stations - while they're lighting, to add excitement to their gathering; or before, to help draw people in. It also gives you somewhere reliable to anchor yourselves, so it's not as random/awkward just roaming through the halls.
  • In each building/location, split up and go through the different halls/floors - and try bringing people together to one central location for lighting/performing/eating. Or make a few main stops - lounges, dining halls, hangout-areas, etc.
  • Frat houses, places where your friends live, the library, etc.

[edit] What to Sing:

  • The Adam Sandler Hanukkah Song here's the original! and here's the newest version! - it's a crowd favorite and a lot of less-involved Jews know it
  • We wish you a merry Chanukah, we wish you a merry Chanukah...
  • The Maccabeats Candlelight
  • Maoz Tzur (it sounds like it could be a Christmas carol)


It'll take some planning (start a few weeks in advance ), speaking to people who live in different places across campus, and getting people to help out. But it'll be really worth it - for all the people whose lives you'll touch, and for the joy you'll enjoy! If you need money for anything (menorahs, doughnuts, gelt, etc.), all you have to do is ask - we have plenty of funding just for this.

[edit] Chanukah parties

You could also organize a traditional Chanukah party - maybe in the Hillel/Chabad, maybe in your dorm lounge. Typical Chanukah parties might have:

  • Dreidel spinning contest
  • Jelly-doughnut eating contest
  • Viewing of all the Adam Sandler Chanukah music-videos / Rugrats Chanuakh
  • Music (here's a youtube playlist)
  • Make sure you keep an eye out for and meet everyone who comes, even/especially new people or people who might not know anyone else..

[edit] Write-ups, Testimonials, Pictures and Videos

Make sure to get pictures, videos, vines, snapchats, etc, of whatever you do - and you can get featured on the next H2H brochures (and on this site)! Both for personal fame, and so others on campuses across the world can use your ideas in the future!

The PDF file did not load properly or your web browser does not support viewing PDF files. Download <a href="http://theheart2heartproject.org/w/images/3/3e/H2H_Chanukah2010.pdf">H2H_Chanukah2010.pdf</a> directly to your device. The PDF file did not load properly or your web browser does not support viewing PDF files. Download <a href="http://theheart2heartproject.org/w/images/7/7d/H2H_Chanukah2012.pdf">H2H_Chanukah2012.pdf</a> directly to your device. The PDF file did not load properly or your web browser does not support viewing PDF files. Download <a href="http://theheart2heartproject.org/w/images/1/13/H2H_Chanukah2013.pdf">H2H_Chanukah2013.pdf</a> directly to your device.


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