8 Days, 8 Ways to Celebrate Chanukah

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Learning, Our Stories

Hanukkah is the festival of light, and the story reminds us that together we can bring light into darkness and we can hope for a brighter tomorrow,” shares Rashi parent and member of Yachad: Rashi’s Parent Council, JulieSue Goldwasser. This has been a year like no other. At Rashi we are grateful for the light our community has brought us over the almost 15 weeks we have been in our school building this year. Below are eight different ways you can join us in bringing light into the darkness.

  1. Create an illuminated Chanukah decoration inspired by a silver Chanukiah Director of Visual Arts, Erica Smiley saw at the Museum of Fine Arts. All you need is cardboard, aluminum foil, string, and markers. Jewish Arts Collaborative featured Erica’s lesson on their Family Chanukah Playlist.

 2. Visit the blacklight installation, Collective Luminescence at 821 Beacon Street, Newton and see contributions by 15 Rashi middle school students to the  public art project, Brighter Connected.

3. Create a modern interpretation of a Chanukiah. Grade 3 students created Chanukah illustrations based on Israeli artist Yoram Ranaan’s ‘Spreading the Light’ with torn paper and water colors.

4. Appreciate our students’ commitment to making Newbridge residents feel less isolated during this time.  The Mitzvah Makers, a volunteer group of second through fifth graders,helped to ensure that seniors in the Health Care  Center can enjoy the candle-lighting and blessings on each night of Chanukah. Each Mitzvah Maker filmed a festive, joyful video that was shared with residents.

5. Make a blanket, make a difference. The Rashi community is ‘blanketing’ the Greater Boston community with love, warmth, and connection by creating no-sew fleece lap blankets for older adults and children in need. This project is in partnership with Combines Jewish Philanthropies Women’s Philanthropy Mitzvah Project. Learn more here.

Director of Social Justice Stephanie Rotsky and Social Justice Assistant Sherman Goldblum

6. Use your hands to make a Chankukiah. Rashi Kindergarteners created hand-print Chanukiot. By placing their thumbs together, they made a perfect Chanukiah with 8 candles and 1 spot for a shamash.

8. Have a ‘light’ hearted debate. Grade 6 is focusing on the mitzvah of “publicizing the miracle” and is engaging in “the great light debate” where they are discussing where they think the line in the sand is between publicizing the miracle and showing Jewish pride vs mimicking Christmas and assimilating into the majority culture.  Going all out for Hanukkah yard decorations?  Mitzvah or Mimic? 

8. Join Yachad to celebrate. Here’s what JulieSue, a member of Yachad, shared: “Yachad literally translates to “together” and is Rashi’s parent-led organization that works to strengthen the bonds between members of our community. “Together” looks very different than it has in past years! We may not be physically together sharing latkes and doughnuts at our annual party, but we still can celebrate and join one another as we virtually light the menorah, bring light into one another’s homes, and enjoy the comfort and the brightness of our Rashi kehillah/community. Over zoom, we will celebrate this year with magic, with tikkun olam, with prayer, with songs, with special blessings, and with an extraordinary light show. We will spend Chanukah together! And, as we retell the story of the Maccabees, we think about the miracles in our own lives. We light candles this year and we send our light to our families, our friends, our teachers, our school, and our community, and look forward to the day we can come together again.”