By Sara Lugardo
When many people think of celebrating the holiday season in Chicago, they will inevitably think of the Tree Lighting Parade, Lights Festival Lane or the infamous window displays on State Street. However, there is more to Chicago’s holiday festivities than visiting a Santa’s workshop or partaking in Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest. The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is more than just a winter celebration but a deeply meaningful and spiritual homage of the miraculous victory of the Israelites against the Maccabees. This is a joyous holiday that is celebrated all over the world with great things to do in the Chicago area.
Hanukkah Party – A Special Time for Families with Special Needs
Congregation Beth Shalom
3433 Walters Ave.
Northbrook, IL 60062
Hours: December 9 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Members and non-members of Congregation Beth Shalom are all welcome to come celebrate Hanukkah. Designed especially for families with special needs, this is a free celebration. There will be music and sing-along songs along with traditional latkes and jelly donuts served. Kids will love the dreidel games and the party is completed with a candle lighting and the Hanukkah story to be enjoyed by all. For more information, email ECastellano@BethShalomNB.org.
722 12th St.
Wilmette, IL 60091
Hours: December 9 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Hosted by Beshert, a popular Jewish matchmaking company, this is an event for ages 40 and up. This is a Jewish mixer for single professionals to come together and celebrate Hanukkah. There will be latkes, brisket, fish, vegetables and desserts served. This is a great event to celebrate the Jewish holiday while meeting others from the same faith. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
Price: Member/Nonmember – $18/$20, children 2 and under are free
Hours: December 9 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Hosted by the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band will be performing inside the Alsdorf Auditorium. The ticket price includes admission to see the concert and also admission to the Wonderland Express exhibit. The Wonderland Express exhibit features miniature trains, bridges and replicas of famous Chicago landmarks. This is a great event for the entire family.
Friday Celebration at JCC
Bernard Weinger JCC
300 Revere Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062
Price: $25 per family
Hours: December 14; Songs and music at 5:45 p.m., Dinner at 6:15 p.m.
Hosted by JCC Children, this event is being held on the second to the last day of the Hanukkah celebration. There will be singing and dancing, followed by a dinner. After dinner, there will be open gym play for children and even swimming. Parents are encouraged to bring comfortable clothes and swimsuits with towels.
Anshe Emet Synagogue
3751 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60613
Hours: December 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Made possible by the Jewish Federation Priority Grant and the Jewish Community Center of Chicago, Got Shabbat? is geared towards families with children from three to eight years old in celebration of the last day of Hanukkah. There will be Shabbat morning service at Anshe Emet Synagogue and a full schedule of activities for the family. Families will enjoy craft projects, cookie decorating, sing-along songs and a special guest entertainer. Further information on this event, including registration information, will be announced via the event schedule on gotshabbat.com.
Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about Asian community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.