COMMUNITY CHANUKAH CELEBRATION 2017

Sunday 17 December, 4.00 pm - 5.30 pm

We are delighted that the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Brian Salinger, Mayoress Mrs Kate Salinger and Councillor Lisa Rutter, Founder of Dementia Club UK will be joining us for our annual community Chanukah celebration. The celebration will include arts and crafts activities for our younger members; youth activities; songs from our Koleinu band; and refreshments.

Please contact the office on  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 020 8445 3400 for more details.

We look forward to welcoming you, your family and friends to our annual Chanukah celebration and mass Chanukiyah Lighting to celebrate the 6th night of this beautiful festival.  

Afternoon timings

4.00 pm – Event starts

4.00 pm - 4.45 pm Arts & Crafts activities for our younger members and families to share  / Youth activities

4.45 pm – 5.15 pm – Mass community Chanukiyah lighting (in the Kiddush Hall) to celebrate the 6th night of the festival of Chanukah.  The Chanukiyah lighting will be followed by traditional singing from our choir.  Please stay and enjoy doughnuts and refreshments after the formalities.

5.15/5.30 pm – Event ends. 

Community Chanukiyah lighting - Members are encouraged to bring along their own Chanukiyah and candles


Chanukah – the facts, traditions and rituals

Rabbi James Baaden provides a brief insight in to some of the facts, traditions and rituals of this beautiful festival.

Chanukah is the eight-day festival of light that begins on the eve of the 25th day of the month of Kislev and celebrates the twin themes of re-dedication and light in the midst of darkness.  The festival marks an event in ancient times when the Jews returned to a devastated Temple in Jerusalem, lit the lamps once again and restored Jewish worship.

The reality of Chanukah is a blaze of light, symbolising a new beginning, a loving restoration of dear and important things which had been damaged and defiled.  The festival always falls close to the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere.  Now, as the days are at their shortest, we create more and more light - day by day until the last evening - which this year is Sunday 13th December.

It's a simple festival - there are no special services, no Chanukah "liturgy" as such - in the synagogue.  You need a Chanukiyah1 and Chanukah candles. Each night the candles are added to, starting with one, then two, and finally eight:  they're put into the Chanukiyah going from right to left (like Hebrew) - then lit going from left to right.  The following blessing is said when lighting the candles:

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav ve-tzivanu le-hadlik ner shel Chanukah

(Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, You make us holy through Your commands, and You command us to kindle the light of Chanukah.)


Other rituals include:

-  A special prayer text rejoicing in God's wonders

-  Traditional songs, such as Maoz Tzur, expressing the same delight;

-  Games, including the somewhat mysterious square spinning top called dreidel  (Yiddish) and

- Special foods, notably latkes and jam doughnuts

1A nine-branched Chanukiyah has places for eight candles and a ninth one used for lighting. It's a version of the "Menorah" of ancient times which had 7 arms.