As the light from our candles shines stronger and our families grow closer with each night, may our dedication to justice grow. May our commitment to resisting hate while pursuing justice for all intensify. The following guide provides simple ways to enrich your Hanukkah celebrations by infusing them with a sense of justice and advocacy.
Day 1: Education
The worst enemy of hate is an informed people. And while information is more accessible than ever, so too is misinformation. This Hanukkah, let’s rededicate ourselves to lateral reading and verifying what we do read. Separating out truth enhances our impact on all communities. How can we ensure that what we engage with and share is honest and truthful?
Day 2: Coalition
Creating communities that we are proud of is not a solo endeavor. It requires intentional partnerships, cultivated and founded on common ideals of justice and righteousness. We are blessed to have partners who fight alongside us to bring about a more just society. How can we maintain those ties, and who else can we partner with to expand existing coalitions?
Day 3: Resilience
Just as our ancestors resisted forced assimilation, we too must exemplify resilience as we stand up for fundamental rights. Our resilience shows when we fight on after unfavorable election results, and when we highlight Jewish joy and compassion in the face of antisemitism. What role does resilience play in our day-to-day lives?
Day 4: Tzedakah
Our festival of lights is filled with moments of personal joy and celebration. We gather as families to share a meal and delicious fried foods. We retell the story of our ancestors’ resistance, and exchange gifts with family and friends. How does tzedakah (righteous giving) play a role in your family’s Hanukkah celebration?
Day 5: Remembrance
Over our eight-day celebration, we call to mind our Maccabean ancestors who stood up to oppressive forces so the Jewish way of life could continue. As we remember the struggles of our community, we must be mindful of the tragedies and hardship faced by other vulnerable communities. How can we learn from history to ensure that its most tragic moments aren’t repeated?
Day 6: Community
Long-lasting change occurs when diverse communities coalesce around a central purpose and shared vision. Think about the numerous communities of which you are a part. Each one brings a wealth of wisdom and skills that can help shape a more just world. How can you bring your communities together to enact long-lasting change that benefits all?
Day 7: Light the Way
We retell the miracle of Hanukkah each year. With only enough oil to last one night, the flame remained lit for eight. This flame served as a source of hope for the Jewish community as they began to rebuild, and continues to be a symbol of hope. What can we do to light the way and provide hope for others so they can also pursue justice?
Day 8: Gratitude
As we conclude our festival of lights and rededication, it’s a chance to reflect on the last week, and to share our gratitude with those around us. At JCJ, we are grateful for our tradition’s dedication to justice and for all who partner with us. What role does gratitude play in your life, and how can we better foster a sense of gratitude?
Download the full printable guide and share our Hanukkah graphic on social media.