As we rededicate ourselves to a year of justice and action, we also must think about how to educate ourselves on the important issues of our time and the roles we play in living a life guided by our core Jewish values.

Each night of Hanukkah, with the candles burning brighter, may our conversations be richer, our advocacy be stronger, and our voices be louder as we commit to another year of justice and freedom for all. Please use the following guide to help enhance your Hanukkah experience and spark a conversation of justice for each night.

Day 1: Empathy – Listening is the foundation of creating a more equal, accepting, and just world. This essential building block of understanding allows us to show empathy for others.  Take a few minutes tonight to not only share your own story, but also listen to your family story.

Day 2: Alliances – An ally is someone outside of a marginalized community who shows support and works toward a common goal.  By having awareness for another person’s experiences and being inclusive, we start the process of becoming allies. Join one of JCJ’s diverse coalitions to pursue justice.

Day 3: Welcoming – Just as Abraham kept the walls of his tent open for all who walked by, we too have an obligation to be inclusive of all members of the community.  What changes can we make in our community to be more welcoming to everyone?

Day 4: Community – Making real change in this world does not happen alone, and building a world of love and justice requires building a community that shares common goals and dreams for the future.  Can you think of all the communities that you are a part of and how you can join with others to fight for the world we want to live in?

Day 5: Protect – One of our greatest gifts is that of our natural world, and we have a responsibility to take care of it and protect it.  Look around your house and make sure all your light bulbs are environmentally friendly LED light bulbs, and replace the ones that are not.  

Day 6: Advocacy – While the light of Hanukkah shines bright, we know that there are people in our own communities feeling a sense of darkness.  Voting, making phone calls to Congress or writing letters to elected officials can help ensure those who are suffering are able to share in the light we are seeing tonight. Consider one of these issues and write a letter as a family. Learn more about JCJ’s Legislative Agenda and then contact your elected official.

Day 7: Tzedakah – The Hebrew word tzedakah translates to “justice,” but is often used to signify charity.  Hanukkah is a time for rediscovering the meaning of a gift. In lieu of gifts, decide as a family on one or two organizations that are important to you and make a donation.  

Day 8: Justice – The last night of Hanukkah is a chance to reflect on the core of this work — the pursuit of justice for all.  What actions can your family take in the coming year to reaffirm your commitment to pursuing justice?

*Download and share our JCJ Hanukkah logo*