Hanukkah Happenings 2020

Happy (almost) Hanukkah everyone! While the festival of lights will look different this year, there are still so many wonderful ways to celebrate together here in Southern Maine. Here are 15 Hanukkah Happenings to help keep your annual traditions full of life and full of light.

For Hanukkah crafts, recipes, music and activities, check out our new Hanukkah Hub.

Chabad of Maine and Jewish Women’s Circle

Online Via Zoom
Friday, December 4th | 10:00 AM
Our most popular Challah revamped! Join the Womens Challah Circle on Zoom and bake delicious Jelly Donut Pull Apart Challah in honor of the upcoming holiday of Chanukah! RSVP to receive Zoom link and to order ingredients in a bag, everything you’ll need delivered to your door! Email hindy@chabadofmaine.com

PJ Library in Southern Maine

The Ninth Night of Hanukkah – A special family Zoom program with author Erica Perl

Online Via Zoom
Sunday, December 6th | 4:00 PM EST 

Free. Suggested donations of $10/household gratefully accepted. Advanced registration required by Friday 12/4 at 12 noon. 

Join author Erica Perl for a reading and discussion of her heart­warming picture book with a fresh twist on a Hanukkah celebration: celebrating a ninth night with new neighbors and friends! 

The Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants on Friday afternoon 12/4. Click here to register!

Temple Beth El

Online Via Zoom
December 10th – 17th | 5:30 PM (except Shabbat on the 11th)
Join Rabbi Braun on Zoom for a nightly candle lighting, and to hear a personal story about a time someone experienced great warmth or enlightenment in their life. The lighting will begin at 5:30pm, except for Shabbat (Friday, 12/11).
On December 13 (see below), the candle lighting will be both in-person in the TBE courtyard and streamed on Zoom. Register here if you would like to join the in-person event: https://forms.gle/gaWxnnQgaDgRrjd18
Pop-up Chanukah Gift Shop Menorahs, candles, fair trade gelt, and more will be available for curbside purchase. Open 12-5pm from Sunday, December 6th through Thursday, December 10th

 Congregation Etz Chaim of Biddeford

208 Main Street, Downtown Biddeford
December 10 – 17 | Every evening at 5:30 PM

Dress warmly & please wear your mask. Organized by the Heart of Biddeford in conjunction with Congregation Etz Chaim.

Chabad of Maine

Start at 11 Pomeroy Street, Portland –  End at 389 Congress Street, Portland
Thursday, December 10th | 4:30 PM (Grand Menorah Lighting at City Hall @ 5:15PM)

Join the Grand Parade or meet at City Hall to light the menorah!

Beth Israel Congregation

Latke Cooking Demonstration

Join Susan Horowitz and the staff at Now You’re Cooking as they cook potato latkes, light the menorah and talk about some of the other wonderful traditions surrounding Hannukah. Here is the recipe she’ll be using so you can follow along.


Congregation Bet Ha’am

Light Up the Night Family Chanukah Shabbat Service

Online via Zoom
Friday, December 11th | 6:00 PM

In the past, this service included over 100 folks from the Bet Ha’am community, gathered to celebrate Chanukah and welcome Shabbat, lighting dozens of chanukiot (Chanukah menorahs) in our sanctuary garden windows. We’ll still be holding the service–albeit differently and on Zoom. We will share details soon!

You can get ready for menorah lighting with Rabbi Saks and for Light Up the Night with holiday items from our gift shop.
  • Chanukah candles: $2 or $8
  • Chanukiyot (Menorahs): Traditional or electric starting at $10
  • Gelt: No nuts/pareve, $1.05 per bag
  • Assorted dreidels and holiday cards
Contact Teri Berenson to arrange payment and outside pickup: teri@bethaam.org or call her Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10:00am to 2:00pm at 207-879-0028.

B’nai Portland

Chanukah Shabbat Service and Menorah Competition

Online via Zoom
Friday, December 11th | 6:30 PM
Bring your menorah (+3 candles) bring your shabbat candles, beverage of choice, AND a homemade menorah for our menorah competition!

Center For Small Town Jewish Life with Community Partners Around the State

~Co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine~

Hanukkah, Together • A Maine Hanukkah Celebration 

Online via Zoom
Saturday, December 12th | 5:30 PM

Hanukkah is on the horizon, and we’re dreaming of sufganiyot, hanukkiyot lit in windows, and gathering as a statewide community. You’ll have to find your own fried treats, but we hope you’ll join us to celebrate the Festival of Lights! Cantor Nesis will lead us in a spirited havdalah, and then Rabbi Lerner will lead us in lighting candles for the third night—don’t forget to bring your own hanukkiah! There is a Hanukkah play in the works, written just for this celebration and performed by rabbis from across the state… We cannot wait. And we’ll enjoy music from Rabbi Sruli and Rebbetzin Lisa. Mark your calendars and use this link to register: https://colbycollegejewishlife.regfox.com/statewide-hanukkah-celebration


Congregation Etz Chaim of Biddeford

Online Via Zoom
Sunday, December 13th | 4:00 – 5:30 PM
4 – 4:45  Stories for Chanukkah: Live! Jewish Storyteller, Mark Binder

4:45 – 5:00 Menorah Lighting together in each of our homes, Songs to sing together/separately, & a Celebration Slideshow *

5:00 – 5:30 Virtual Israeli Dancing with Barbara Merson

* Send in photos of you/your family celebrating
Chanukkah before Saturday noon, Dec 12 to: photos@etzchaimme.org We will present them in a slideshow at the party!

Chabad of Brunswick

Socially Distanced Chanukah Celebration

Town Mall, Brunswick, ME
Sunday, December 13th | 4:30 PM
Come celebrate Jewish pride and tradition this Chanukah. Third Grand Menorah Lighting!
FREE ADMISSION! A fun event for all ages!
Please bring your masks. We will also have masks available in accordance with the city of Brunswick ordinance.

Temple Beth El

Community Menorah Lighting

TBE Courtyard, 400 Deering Avenue, Portland
Sunday, December 13th | 5:30 PM
Come to the TBE courtyard for this short and sweet live version of our nightly candle lighting. Open to all (up to a maximum of 50 people). Click HERE to RSVP.

PJ Library Southern Maine

Family Hanukkah Concert

Online Via Zoom
Sunday, December 13th | 4:00 PM

FREE Family Hanukkah Concert and Menorah Lighting featuring award-winning song writer and educator Eliana Light. Everyone is welcome. This is a program of the Lappin Foundation. 

Register Here: https://www.lappinfoundation.org/2020/10/06/pj-library-family-hanukkah-concert/

Come together for a virtual candle lighting and sing along on the last night of Hanukkah.

Maine Jewish Museum POP UP

Menorah Exhibition

Exhibition Runs November 27, to December 24, 2020

Featuring Menorahs by: Rush Brown, Nanci Kahn, Lisa Pierce, Toby Rosenberg & Elizabeth Ruskin

This is your last chance to own a menorah by Lisa Pierce. Lisa has been exhibiting her animal menorahs at the Maine Jewish Museum and New York Jewish Museum for many years. MJM is fortunate to offer the last 3 available for sale.

Did we miss your Hanukkah event? Email Trevor at tgeiger(at)mainejewish.org and we’ll try to include it.

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