Jewish Life 4 min read

Explore Hanukkah

By JCC Milwaukee December 6, 2023


Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is an 8 day holiday beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Themes of Hanukkah include rededication, miracles, bringing light into the darkness, and freedom of religious expression. The central commemoration of the holiday is the lighting of the hanukkiyah, or menorah, an eight-branched candelabra to which one candle is added on each night of the holiday. 

One of the few Jewish holidays not mentioned in the Torah, Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabees victory over religious oppression in 164 BCE. While there are many interpretations of why the holiday lasts for 8 days, including that it was modeled after Sukkot as a holiday of thanksgiving and joy, later rabbinic tradition attributes the length of the festival to a miraculous small amount of oil that burned for eight days. 

Ways to observe the holiday:

2023 Hanukkah Celebrations at the JCC
Community-wide Hanukkah December 11 LEARN MORE
Candlelighting at the JCC every weeknight at 4:00 PM on Main Street
Candlelighting on Silver Spring Drive next to Yellow Wood at 5:30 PM each night

Want to learn more about the holidays or how your family can connect with the JCC?

Explore PJ Library Milwaukee for young families raising Jewish or multi-faith children.
Contact Rachel Pressman at to get connected to additional resources.