2022 / 5783

Sun, Dec 18 – Sun, Dec 25


A message from Jacqueline Marks,
Chief Children and Families Officer

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Dear Community,

One of my favorite Chanukah traditions is lighting the menorah as a family, and sitting together as the candles melt. The first night is quite dark, and each night as we add a candle to the chanukiah, there is increased light. My children (ages 4, 4, and 7) always have a lot to say about the dripping wax, darkness of the season, and inevitably—about the increasing light.

Why on Chanukah do we light one additional candle each night? Is there any other option? The thought might be inconceivable, but this idea had to be decided at some point! One of the great Jewish debates in the Talmud was this exact question.

"How exactly should we light the Chanukah lights?" the rabbis asked. Shammai suggested that we should start the holiday with the greatest number of lights and decrease by one each night, but Hillel countered with a then radical idea: on the first night, we should start by lighting one light, on the second night, two, and so on—because, as he put it, in matters of holiness we do not decrease, only increase.

Chanukah is all about increasing light and all that light brings to our world—warmth, visibility, and illumination. Chanukah occurs each year in the midst of a season when light feels so scarce, and these tiny flickers of light, increasing day by day, help to feed our beliefs and actions that build into illuminating forces of hope, joy, and connection.

At the JCC, I feel so grateful to spend each day observing this increasing light in our community. While Chanukah makes me extra aware and grateful for its presence, this is light I see shining every day of the year. This is light that comes from the joy and discovery of our children, our families, our teachers and staff. We are the light; all of us of every age, and this is our chance to shine together. I invite you to join us at the JCC every night of Chanukah to kindle the lights of our menorah, and to increase our light by shining together as a community.

Chag Urim Sameach
Happy Festival of Lights!

Jacqueline Marks
Chief Children and Family Officer


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CSN Chanukah Flash Sale
Wed, Dec 14, 2–5 pm
Fri, Dec 16, 11:30 am–2:30 pm
Sun, Dec 18, 4–7 pm
Located in the JCC lobby. All proceeds benefit The Jack and Shirley Center for Special Needs.

Shabbat in the Town Square: Chanukah Edition
2 Thursdays, Dec 15 + 22, 2–4 pm, Free
Make a Shabbat kit with candles, challah, and surprises; chat spontaneously with a new friend; enjoy the rhythm and the energy of our Shabbat playlists. Stop by our lobby; no registration required.

Infants + Young Children Chanukah Celebration
Fri, Dec 16, 11 am–noon, $10

Pre-Chanukah Shabbat Shabbang
Fri, Dec 16, 7 pm, $18

The Memory Project: Chanukah Family Fun Day
Sun, Dec 18, 10 am–1 pm, Pay what you wish

Nia Holiday Jam: Celebrating the Joy + Light of the Season
Sun, Dec 18, 1:30–2:30 pm, $10

Monthly Community Circle with Rabbi Yael Rapport
Mon, Dec 19, 2–3 pm, Free

Wechsler Center Chanukah Party
Mon, Dec 19, 3:30–5:30 pm, $20/$25

Bringing Light Into the Darkness: A Chanukah Bereavement Program
Tue, Dec 20, 5:30–7 pm, Free

OY GEVALT Comedy Night: Holiday Edition
Wed, Dec 21, 7–8 pm, $10

20s + 30s Annual Chanukah Party
Thu, Dec 22, 7–10 pm, $18

Partner Program: Nash Dom Gala Hanukah Party
Sun, Dec 18, 5:30 pm
Located at 164 E 68th St.

Treats + Resources

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Treats + Resources

Treats + Resources


Join us as we gather in the JCC Lobby for Chanukah candle lighting from Sun, Dec 18 through Fri, Dec 23.

On Sat, Dec 24 and Sun, Dec 25, meet us at 305 West End Ave for a Chanukah celebration with the residents of 305 West End Assisted Living.

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Join us as we gather in the JCC Lobby for Chanukah candle lighting from Sun, Dec 18 (night 1) through Fri, Dec 23 (night 6).

On Sat, Dec 24 and Sun, Dec 25 (nights 7 and 8), meet us at 305 West End Ave for a Chanukah celebration with the residents of 305 West End Assisted Living. Expect music, gelt, sufganiyot (donuts), dreidels, and the joy of celebrating a festival of lights at a time when there is so much darkness. Let’s kindle together! All experiences are open to everyone.

Sun, Dec 18: 5 pm
Hosted by The Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Special Needs + MusicTalks

Chanukah Lights Up the World: A musical journey celebrating the festival of lights around the world, starring Israeli-American singer/actress Daniella Rabbani and the MusicTalks Ensemble. With beloved songs and tales from Eastern Europe all the way to Yemen, America, and, of course, Israel, we are reminded that while the Jewish people are spread out, we have so much in common.

Mon, Dec 19: 4:45 pm program, 5 pm lighting
Hosted by Camp Settoga + The Bert and Sandra Wasserman Center for Family Life

Chanukah candle lighting, music, and sing-along presented by Voyager Music. All are welcome. Families with children under the age of 10 should register here to ensure they are entered into the raffle (prizes are for younger children). Adults and families with older children do not need to register.

Tue, Dec 20: 5 pm
Hosted by The David H. Sonabend Center for Israel

Wed, Dec 21: 5 pm
Hosted by The Gottesman Center for Jewish Living
Join us for an olive oil tasting and dreidel decorating!

Thu, Dec 22: 5 pm
Hosted by The Wechsler Center for Modern Aging with live entertainment from MusicTalks

Fri, Dec 23: 1 pm symbolic lighting
Hosted by Rabbi Joanna Samuels, CEO of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Sat, Dec 24 + Sun, Dec 25: 4 pm at 305 West End Assisted Living
We will join staff and residents for candle lighting with live entertainment from MusicTalks. Instructions to take part in this beautiful experience: Once you arrive at 305 West End Ave, you will be promoted to fill out an electronic COVID questionnaire. Visitors are asked to wear masks.