Hanukkah Recipes and Crafts
Hanukkah (dedication) - Kislev 25 - is the celebration of the Maccabees victory in 165 BCE over ancient Greece and the rededication of the second Temple in Jerusalem. Oil was found in the temple, but it was only enough to light the Menorah for one night. Miraculously, it lit the Menorah for eight nights. To celebrate this miracle, on each of the eight nights, another candle is lit in the Hanukiah (a special Menorah with 9 candle holders) and special songs are sung. The traditional foods are fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts). Kids love playing the dreidel (spinning top), and parents give them Hanukkah gelt (Yiddish for money, a chocolate coin).
The dreidel, which is called Sevivon in Hebrew, is a four-sided spinning top with 4 Hebrew letters that are the acronym of the sentence Nes (miracle) Gadol (big) Haya (was) Po (here). Kids who play outside of Israel have dreidels that have the letters for the sentence Nes (miracle) Gadol (big) Haya (was) Sham (there).
Tune in to our
Hebrew Lesson 26
Making a Hanukiah
(Right Click, Save As)
Potato Pancakes - Latkes
2 lb (1 kg) potatoes
1 medium onion
A pinch of salt
A pinch of ground pepper
Oil for frying
You can serve with sour cream or applesauce.
Jelly Doughnuts - Sufganiyot
Ingredients: (serves 24)
1 ounce (about 30 gr) active dry yeast
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
Strawberry, apricot, raspberry or any kind of jam
Let the kids decorate the Sufganiyot. They can top them with: powdered sugar, chocolate frosting, or jam. If you top with something sticky, such as jam, you can decorate easier with little candy or chocolate coins. You can use color decorating icing tubes to draw faces or write Hanukkah greetings.
Hanukkah Kids Crafts
The Dreidel Game (usually played with chocolate coins)
Each kid spins the dreidel and calculates the points that he or she wins according to the table below. Each point is worth 1 chocolate coin.
The Hebrew letter Nun - נ - nothing happens and the next player spins
The Hebrew letter Gimel - ג - "all" - the player takes the entire chocolate coin pile
The Hebrew letter Hey - ה - "half" - the player takes half the pile, rounding up if there is an odd number
The Hebrew letter Shin - ש - "put in" - the player puts one chocolate coin in the pile
The game lasts until one person has won all the chocolate coins.
Wood Block Hanukiah
10 wood blocks
9 metal bottle caps or metal candle holders
Rectangle piece of wood for the base
Letter foam stickers
Caution: never leave the Hanukiah alone while the candles are lit. Do not let the candles burn all the way down since it can be a fire hazard because the Hanukiah is made of wood. Do not leave the Hanukiah too close to a window in the winter since the cold air from outside and the burning candle from the inside can shatter the glass.
Decorative Paper Hanukiah
9 or 10 cardboard cores of toilet paper rolls
1 cardboard core of a paper towel roll
Red, yellow and orange tissue paper
This Hanukiah is only for decoration and cannot be lit with candles.
Dreidel template (open this link and print the template)
Optical Illusion Spinning Top
Small paper plates (use a light and thin paper plate)
A straw (use a strong plastic straw, one that doesn't bend too easily)
You can add the spinning discs on top of an existing top through the handle, if you have a flat top.
Stained Glass Oil Lamp
Black construction paper
You can draw different shapes such as dreidel, Hanukiah, etc.