Teach and Celebrate Hanukkah with Behrman House

Written by Jessica Gurtman, 17 of November, 2011

Hanukkah is coming! Be ready to light the first candle on Tuesday, December 20.

How do we help students approach Hanukkah with a sense of appreciation and celebration without getting stuck in the ‘December Dilemna’? To help families celebrate and understand Hanukkah, this season we’re offering Celebrating Hanukkah for just $3.00 per copy, nearly 50% off! This is a simple and beautiful resource for those looking for a little guidance to make the most of their celebration.  This four-page, durable (it's water- and oil-resistant!) folder tells the story of Hanukkah and describes popular customs and tradition, such as playing dreidel and eating latkes. It gives easy-to-follow instructions for setting up and lighting the Hanukkah candles.  Blessings for lighting Hanukkah candles are presented in Hebrew, transliteration, and English. A computer icon indicates when online enrichment is available, such as sound recordings that can recite the holiday candle lighting blessings in Hebrew. $3.00 (use code Dreidel when ordering online)

The link between Hanukkah and Christmas represents an ongoing challenge for North American Jewry. While Hanukkah is a minor festival in the Jewish calendar, Christmas is one of the two main holidays (with Easter) in the Christian calendar. Although Hanukkah and Christmas occur at the same time of year, they have virtually nothing else in common. Ironically, of course, had the Macabees not sustained their commitment to Judaism, the history of the people might have ended then and there. Christianity could not have emerged as it did. (Reprinted with permission from Teaching Jewish Holidays © 1997)

You may have families in your school who celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. Offer them this resource to help them think about how they celebrate the holidays at home.

The internet has a wealth of resources for learning even more about Hanukkah through games, activities and e-cards:
i. Check out Babaganewz for several Hanukkah ideas, including lesson plans and activities, games like Dreidel 6000 and Hanukkah e-cards.
ii. Visit Elijah Rocks to play a dreidel game, download a Hanukkah word puzzle, practice Hanukkah blessings and download the prayers to practice.
iii. Looking for a yummy, crowd-pleasing latke recipe? Click here!
iv. Have an iPhone or iPad? You can learn all the Hanukkah blessings using iHanukkah and play Dreidel Labrynith (it’s free!). Visit our apps page to see all of the apps that Behrman House has available.

Your youngest students are getting ready for their earliest experience with Hanukkah. We have two great early childhood resources that can help. You can introduce your preschool students to the key vocabulary of Hanukkah with Look at Me: I Can Celebrate Hanukkah, an adorable 16 page activity book. Activities teach Hanukkah traditions while reinforcing developmental skills. Each booklet includes one page of 19 Hanukkah stickers. Priced for this season at a budget-friendly $3.00 per copy (use code Dreidel when ordering online).

Need a gift for Hanukkah?  Make it the gift of a Jewish book this holiday season. We have ideas for all ages.

Ideas for Kids:
It's Hanukkah eve at the Smalls', but Dad is standing on a street corner, broke. A stranger offers him a unique present. Dad takes it home and the magic begins. Too Many Latkes!, a Hanukkah fable, is best read by the light of the menorah. And just like the traditional holiday dish, latkes, you can't get enough of it. $9.95. And, look for the coming animated ebook version of Too Many Latkes for iPad, coming soon to the Apple apps store!

It's Too Crowded in Here! is an adorable collection of eight illustrated  Jewish folktales and midrashic stories that has just received the Sugarman Family Childrens’ Book  Award. Fun  to read aloud with children, the stories also provide a rich yet light-hearted resource for exploring key values such as self respect, compassion, appreciation, tolerance, and thankfulness. You can use the accompanying resource pages after each story toprovide abrief background linking the story with its connection toJewish tradition. Appropriate for any background or level of Jewish knowledge. $7.95

Ideas for Adults:
Do you have new or expectant parents on your gift list this year? Blessings and Baby Steps is a warm and tender look at parenting by Rabbi Ilana Grinblat that can help parents of all ages discover ways to find wonder among the joys and struggles of welcoming and raising young children. $14.95

Give the gift of two extraordinary Jewish classics this year for one extraordinary price. For decades Jews have been reading Milton Steinberg’s As a Driven Leaf to experience the struggle of living a faith-based life in a secular world. Now this long-loved novel is joined by Steinberg’s last work, The Prophet’s Wife, a novelized story of Hosea, Gomer and the struggles of marriage and faith they portray. $25 for the set.

Looking for other gift book ideas? Explore our website.

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