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This evening marks the first night of Hanukkah for Jewish communities around the world.
December 18, 2022
This evening marks the first night of Hanukkah for Jewish communities around the world.🕯🕯🕯
Did you know? In comparison to the major holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Hanukkah is a minor religious festival. In the 19th century however, both Hanukkah and Christmas saw a rise in popularity in the United States. Today, Hanukkah is one of the best-known Jewish holidays in America.
Although Jews have been in America for hundreds of years, the first public display of a menorah didn’t occur until Hannukah 1974. On a cold evening in Philadelphia, Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, with the help of yeshivah students, lit a simple menorah in front of Independence Hall. Since that night, menorahs have become a common sight on town greens and in public squares across the country and around the world.
Hanukkah holds not only a special religious meaning for Jewish-Americans, but a cultural meaning as well. For many American Jews, a religious minority in the U.S., Hanukkah celebrations represented a dedication to Judaism. They simultaneously distinguished Jewish Americans from their Christmas-celebrating neighbors while also giving them a commonality of festive, gift-giving winter holidays.
Tobacco Still Life with Candle, Georg Flegel, 1631
-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer