Shavei Israel communities celebrate Hanukah around the world: 2017 edition

Shavei Israel communities celebrate Hanukah around the world: 2017 edition

This year’s Hanukah has come to a close but the memories linger, not unlike the oil that burned for an extra seven days. So let’s take a trip around the world to see how the communities that Shavei Israel supports celebrated the Festival of Lights this year.

Bnei Menashe

Marking their first Hanukah in Israel, the Bnei Menashe at the Kfar Hasidim absorption center marked Hanukah with Sabra mix of candles, oil, sufganiot (Hanukah donuts), singing, dancing and high spirits all around. And a couple of cute babies, to boot.

A more veteran group of Bnei Menashe in Israel hit the road and toured Jerusalem for Hanukah as part of a holiday tiyul.

In Upper Nazareth, the community joined local leaders to light candles, eat and sing.


The Bnei Anousim communities of Colombia sent us some pictures of their Hanukah celebrations this year.

Here’s one from Cucuta

Another from Bogota (a bit blurry, but you get the idea!)

And a video of the kids from Bello singing that Hanukah favorite Maoz Tzur.

South and Central America

These young girls from the Bnei Anousim community in Chile are having fun getting their dreidel on…

While these men in the El Salvador communities of Armenia and San Salvador are taking the holiday a bit more seriously.

Subbotnik Jews

Turning to Russia, the Subbotnik Jewish community in Visoky came out to pose and light candles for the holiday.


Our emissary Rav Elisha’s students in Alicante celebrated Chanukah with joy.


The Bnei Anousim community in Palermo poses with a pretty big Hanukkiah during the now annual candle lighting in the Steri Palace – the building that served as the headquarters of the Inquisition in Palermo from 1601-1782. The candle lighting, which is attended by local dignitaries as well as community members, is held in the former dungeons.


In Belmonte there was a well-attended public candle-lighting ceremony every night with many activities sponsored by the municipality. Such as a klesmer concert and a juggling-with-fire act. In Porto and Lisbon Rav Elisha’s students celebrated the holiday and were happy to share their photos with us.


Shavei Israel’s emissary to Krakow, Rabbi Avi Baumol, lights the Hanukkiah with children from the Jewish community.

In Lodz there were many Chanukah activities. Each night there was candle-lighting and special classes. There was also an event at the Museum of Lodz called ‘Chanukah for Lodz’ with 270 people, including Jews and non-Jews, attending. There was also an event in the Dialogue Center with 250 people attending.


It’s simple but halachic – this Hanukkiah in Erode, India, bears witness to the remarkable Jewish commitment of the emerging Zion Torah Center.