Enduring Understandings:

You will understand that...

  • Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.

  • Jewish life is best lived in community.

  • The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?

  • How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?

I can match the Chanukah symbols and ritual items with their proper Hebrew names

Click on each holiday symbol below to learn more about it. You may think you know what it is called but see if you can use the correct Hebrew name.

Each night of Chanukah we light another candle on the חֲנֻכִּיָּה (chanukiyah) for a total of 8 candles plus the shamash, the helper candle.
A סְבִיבוֹן (sevivon - dreidel) is a toy that kids all over the world play with on Chanukah. There are four letters on the סְבִיבוֹן (nun, gimel, hay and shin - נ ג ה ש). These letters stand for נס גדול היה שם - a great miracle happened there.
לְבִיבוֹת (Levivot), also called Latkes, are delicious potato pancakes that are fried in oil.
סֻפְגָּנִיּוֹת (Sufganiyot) are jelly donuts. We love eating סֻפְגָּנִיּוֹת on Hanukkah because they are prepared in oil!
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Create an illustrated dictionary with each Chanukah symbol and its Hebrew name.

I can describe details of the story of Chanukah

The Hanukkah story tells the tale of the Jews living in Israel when the Antiochus, the Greek leader decided he didn't want anyone living Jewishly anymore. Some Jews went along with this crazy idea just to keep the peace but others, led by the Maccabees, decided to fight against it.

After a terrible battle, the Maccabees overpowered the Greeks and got their Temple back. There was a lot of cleaning up to do and only enough oil for the lamp for one day. Thankfully, a miracle occurred and the oil lasted for eight days.

Click to download and print our Holiday story flashcards. Just cut them out, mix them up and see if you can put them in the right order.


Create a cartoon or storyboard telling the story of Chanukah.

I can sequence the holidays in the Jewish calendar

חֲנֻכָּה (Chanukah) is celebrated at the darkest time of the year, in the middle of winter. It comes after a long month of no Jewish holidays at all (except for Shabbat.)

Click to download and print our Holiday name flashcards. Just cut and fold them to practice at home!


I can use appropriate Chanukah greetings

Chanukah isn't just a holiday - it's the Festival of Lights. That's why we share this special greeting on Chanukah:

חַג אוּרִים שָׂמֵחַ

Chag Urim Sameiach

Happy Festival of Lights

Create Chanukah cards using the appropriate greetings to share with your family and friends.

I can recite t'fillot that are said on Chanukah

You already know the blessings for lighting the Chanukiyah. Here are two songs that we sing for Chanukah. The first is Maoz Tzur and we sing it after lighting the Chanukah candles. The second is Al Hanisim and we sing this during services each day of Chanukah.

מָעוֹז צוּר יְשׁוּעָתִי לְךָ נָאֶה לְשַׁבֵּחַ.

תִּכּוֹן בֵּית תְּפִלָּתִי וְשָׁם תּוֹדָה נְזַבֵּחַ.

לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ.

אָז אֶגְמוֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ.

Maoz Tzur yeshuati l'cha na'eh l'shabeiach

Tikon beit t'filati v'sham todah n'zabeiach

L'et tachin matbeiach mitzar ham'nabeiach

Az egmor b'shir mizmor Chanukat hamizbeiach

Rock of Ages let our song, praise Your saving power;
You amidst the raging foes, were our sheltering tower.

Furiously they assailed us, but Your arm saved us
And Your word broke their sword, when our own strength failed us.

See if you can sing along to Maoz Tzur

See if you can sing along to Al Hanisim

עַל הַנִּסִּים וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן וְעַל הַגְּבוּרות וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעות וְעַל הַמִּלְחָמות שֶׁעָשיתָ לַאֲבותֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה:

Al hanisim v'al hapurkan v'al hag'vurot v'al hat'shu'ot v'al hamilchamot she'asita la'avoteinu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh.

We praise You for the miracles and for the redemption and for the mighty deeds and for the victories and for the battles that You performed for our ancestors in those days at this time

Create a video tutorial teaching one of the t'fillot you have learned.

I can explain the meaning of "mitzvah" as "commandment" and "minhag" as "custom"

A מִצְוָה (mitzvah) is a commandment. It's something we're all supposed to do. A מִנְהָג (minhag) is a custom. It's something that many people have done for a long time and has become an important part of their lives. Every holiday has both מִצְווֹת (mitzvot - commandments) and מִנְהָגִים (minhagim - customs).





Create a Chanukah "Mitzvah" and "Minhag" poster explaining each and showing examples.

I can identify details in the Chanukah story that lead to the practice of specific Jewish values

Middot are Jewish values. A value is a belief or behavior that we all believe is important. Some Jewish values are kindness, bravery and love. You can find a list of many more middot below. Now that you really know what Chanukah is all about, what middot do we practice on this day? You can print out our list of middot (plural of middah), cut each middah out and create a poster for each holiday celebrating its values.

Middot Chart.jpg

Write and put on a play telling the story of Chanukah and highlighting the values.

© 2019 by Rabbi David Paskin

JPaL is a program of Temple Sinai of North Dade
Call Us: 305-932-9012   /   rabbi.david@tsnd.org   /  18801 NE 22nd Ave, Miami, FL 33180