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Hanukkah 2023


Hanukkah does not celebrate war, though the horrors of war and conflicts between different warring groups are core to the Hanukkah narrative as told in the ancient Book of Maccabees. Hanukkah celebrates the victory at war’s end. As Judah says to his brothers, “Now that our enemies are defeated, let us go up to Jerusalem to cleanse the Temple and rededicate it.”
This year on Hanukkah we do not celebrate war. Anticipating Israel’s eventual victory over Hamas at war’s end, this year on Hanukkah we celebrate the many and moral possibilities of light.
We dedicate ourselves to the light of hope overtaking darkness. We dedicate ourselves to the light of love replacing hate. We dedicate ourselves to the light of goodness triumphing over evil. We dedicate ourselves to the light of peace for our people in Israel and for all people in the region.
This year, as we kindle Hanukkah’s light each night, the flames shining bright represent our conviction that in God’s name justice and decency reign and our belief that being Jewish brings each of us dignity in life and purpose in living.
On Hanukkah every year, we create light to make a dark world bright. A potent religious symbol, light signifies life and goodness, hope and God’s presence. On Hanukkah, we ignite sparks of holiness and gratitude. We rejoice in the miracles of Jewish history.
This Hanukkah, join with us, and in your home celebrations, to demonstrate pride in our being Jewish, care and compassion for the people of Israel, for the hostages still captive, and for all the innocent who suffer. Let us pray that God’s light of peace and goodness may soon shine again and for all time.

HANUKKAH: Celebrating Our Light

Thursday, December 14 | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

On the last night of Hanukkah we come together as a community to celebrate our light. We’ll kindle candles, reflect on the hope we see in our lights, and celebrate with fire jugglers, latkes, music, dreidels, crafts, and friends! We'll write encouraging notes of thanks and support to IDF soldiers, our modern day Maccabees, and proudly sing together during a Hanukkah Concert of song in solidarity with Israel. We look forward to celebrating and commemorating with you.

5:30 p.m. Community Hanukkiyah lighting & sing-along Please bring your Hanukkiyot & candles from home.

6:00 p.m. Festive Hanukkah dinner with latkes and more

During dinner, enjoy spectacular entertainment with fire jugglers and light show performances. Look out for fire jugglers on stilts who will be walking around the room!

6:30 p.m. Solidarity and Song – An Informal Hanukkah Concert blending Hanukkah songs, Israeli songs, and favorite Jewish songs for all of us to enjoy with David Lipsitz, Craig Parks, and their friends.

6:45 p.m. Sufganyot & more Hanukkah Treats will be served

7:30 p.m. New Insight into Hanukkah’s Light

We add to our understanding of Hanukkah’s history and Judaism for today at this session with Rabbi Shulman following our holiday festivities.

All evening long we will play dreidel, write notes to IDF soldiers, enjoy Hanukkah crafts, and holiday time together.


VTS Families - School hours on Sunday 12/18 are 4-6pm, and not 9am-12pm in celebration of Hanukkah! Join us as we celebrate the first night of Hanukkah together.

Light is among our most powerful religious symbols. On Hanukkah, Shabbat, and throughout the year we kindle lights to celebrate and rejoice, honor or remember. Our lights reflect our lives and all we experience. Light represents our Jewish beliefs and traditions, as well. In the glow of the 5th night of Hanukkah lights, we will study and explore the meaning of light in Judaism, the reasons for Hanukkah’s lights, and how those ideas reflect on the meaning of our lives.

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Friday, December 8 & Saturday, December 9

Seeing Hope in the Light of Israel
A Shabbat Hanukkah Service of Solidarity and Song

Friday, December 8
6:15 p.m. in the Stone Family Sanctuary
Join us to see hope in the light of Israel at Congregation Beth El on Erev Shabbat Hanukkah, Friday evening December 8th at 6:15 p.m. Join with Rabbi Shulman, Rabbi Avi, David Lipsitz, Craig Parks and friends for a Shabbat Service of solidarity and song, reflection and dedication.
This Hanukkah, we think of all who are our family in Israel, individually as relatives or friends and collectively as Jews. Sending them our support and concern, the most important thing we can do is to let Israel and Israelis know we are with them.
Join with us on Shabbat Hanukkah to demonstrate pride in our being Jewish, care and compassion for the people of Israel, for the hostages still captive, and for all the innocent who suffer. Let’s come together to celebrate the many and moral possibilities of light and pray that God’s light of peace and goodness may soon shine again and for all time.

Shabbat Hanukkah Morning Service
Saturday, December 9
9:30 a.m. in the Stone Family Sanctuary
Our weekly Shabbat celebration will honor Hanukkah’s history and meaning as we celebrate of Hanukkah’s joy and Shabbat’s peace. We’ll celebrate with the Schatz family as their son Gabriel becomes a Bar Mitzvah and share together in the comfort and strength of synagogue community.

Registration coming soon.



Come visit us for all your Hanukkah needs from Hanukkiyot for all ages, candles, dreidels and
gifts for children and adults!

We will be open limited hours AND by appointment.

Please call the office at 858-452-1734 or email for information.

Hanukkah resources

Virtual Dreidel
Click here to spin the dreidel online
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,
We miss our friends this year.
So grab your screen and latke;
We hope to bring some cheer!

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Hanukkah Song Sheet
Click here for our Hanukkah Song sheet
Sing along and celebrate!

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Hanukkah B'rakhot 
Click here for Hanukkah B'rakhot for Lighting the Hanukkiyah

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Sat, March 2 2024 22 Adar I 5784