Hanukkah 2019 begins Sunday, December 22, 2019 and continues through Monday, December 30, 2019

Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods. The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. According to legend, Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt and won. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar.

A menorah is lit in every household (or even by each individual within the household) and placed in a doorway or window. Each night, one additional candle is lit by the shamash (“attendant”) until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the holiday. Other Hanukkah festivities include playing dreidel and eating oil-based foods such as doughnuts and latkes.

Hanukkah = Pride + Freedom! Maccabees stood strong in their Jewish identity, and we stand proud as free LGBTQ Jews.


First Candle
Sunday, Dec 22 :: 1st Night Light :: 4-5:30pm @ BCC
Following Playground Sunday (1-4pm), join Cantor Juval & Rabbi Alyson for songs, sufganiyot, jelly donuts, and lighting of the Hanukkiah. All are welcome. Bring your family hanukkiah!

The Chanukiya Blessings

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל חֲנֻכָּה.
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, asher kidishanu bemitzvotav, vitzivanu lehadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Praised are You, Adonai, who rules the Universe, Who makes us holy through mitzvot and has given us the mitzvah of lighting the Hanukkah candle.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, she’asah nissim la’avoteinu bayamim haheim, bazeman hazeh.

Praised are You, Adonai, who rules the Universe, Who made miracles for our ancestors, long ago, and
continues to make them today.

3. (on the first night only!)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָֽנוּ וְקִיְּמָֽנוּ וְהִגִּיעָֽנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, sheheheyanu, vekiyimanu, vehigi’anu, lazeman hazeh.

Praised are you, Adonai, who rules the Universe, Who has granted us life, sustained us, and has brought us to this special time

Hanukkah Palooza with Drag Queen Story Hour and More on December 14

Rae Antonoff Portnoy, Director of Education

Join all of BCC’s Youth and Family Programs – Baby Kibbutz, Ohr Chayim Shabbat School, and Teen Track – for an exciting day of Hanukkah-themed fun on Saturday, December 14!

Families with children age 0-18 are invited to join us for a Palooza of Hanukkah activity options from 10am to 12:30pm, including… 

  • Cooking with Tara and Ashira
  • Games with Tal and Rae
  • Crafts with Ms. Purple
  • Songs with Cantor Juval
  • Text study with Rabbi Alyson

…and a special guest for Drag Queen Story Hour starting at 11:15 am, in partnership with PJ Library!

Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like – drag queens reading stories to children.  It captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.  In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is for real.

Our Drag Queen Story Hours are planned to take place during our four holiday “paloozas” throughout the year, and are coordinated with PJ Library.  If you would like to sponsor a Drag Queen Story Hour for $300, please indicate your donation to go to that program.

All members of the community with family members aged 0-18 are welcome, regardless of synagogue membership or enrollment in any of BCC’s Youth and Family Programs.

For more information or to be added to any of the Youth and Family Programs mailing lists, contact Rae Antonoff Portnoy, Director of Education, at rae@bcc-la.org.

Fourth Sundays Are Now Playground  Sundays at BCC

Let’s get to know each other better. That’s why I came up with the idea of “Playground Sundays.”  We can get to know each other while doing something fun. 

 I remember April 10, 2011, the day we marched our Torahs from our old building at 6000 W Pico to our new home at 6090 W Pico.  Upon entering our spacious parking lot (we never had one before), I thought of how delightful it would be to use it as a playground.  You see, I am from New York City, Brooklyn to be specific, and asphalt brings back memories of playing ”Foursquare,” “Skelly,” jumping rope, playing jacks, even a game we called “Three Feet Out of Germany.”

 The point is, no matter how athletic or non-athletic you may be, there is some activity that we can enjoy together on Playground Sunday.  We now have a basketball hoop, and a net for volleyball, badminton and pickleball, and plenty of room for “sidewalk games.”  I am not contemplating any serious competition, although I must confess that I fantasize about relay and potato sack races and my wife is eager for dodgeball.

  So will you join me?  Fourth Sundays in the BCC parking lot from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  November 24, December 22, and January 26, to start.  Be there or be (four)square!  And bring your game.

For more info, feel free to email me at dlgroman@hotmail.com.


Lights And Latkes with Jewish Veg – Los Angeles!

Join us for a vegan Hanukkah celebration!

Spend an evening celebrating Hanukkah with a delicious dinner as we light the menorah and get our dreidel on! Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew, a perfect time to rededicate ourselves to the creation of a kinder, healthier, more sustainable world.

Special presentation by Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Jewish Veg Los Angeles Rabbinic Chair.

WHEN: Monday, December 23rd from 6-9 PM
WHERE: Private residence in Pacific Palisades. Address provided upon RSVP.

This particular event is catered by Rainbowlz, which is 100% vegan food from a 100% vegan kitchen. If you require a kosher-certified meal, please reach out to Shantal by replying to this email.

The event is co-sponsored by Recruiting For Good and Beth Chayim Chadashim’s Vegan Havurah.

tickets and RSVP right here

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