Anti-Defamation League Online Homepage   HomeRuleSearchRuleAbout ADLRuleSupport ADL


Printable VersionPrintable Version
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Religious Issues in your Child's Public School
A Guide For Jewish Parents
Foods and Games of Chanukah
Once the history is explained, you could follow up with some games and activities. This will accomplish the second goal of sharing culture in a fun-filled way. One great way to have fun and learn about a cultural event is by sharing food dishes.

Explain why oil is the motif of Chanukah
Making latkes (potato pancakes) from the food processor to the frying pan to serving them with applesauce and sour cream is one way to do just that. Another option is to bring in sufganiot (jelly doughnuts). Explain that oil is the motif of this holiday, and point out how oil is used in each of these recipes. Comparing latkes to sufganiot is also a great way to bring up the issue of diversity that exists within a particular religious group or ethnicity.

Another fun option is to bring in dreidels and demonstrate the traditional game associated with the holiday. Show the class how the spinning top has a different Hebrew letter on each of its four sides: Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin. Explain that these letters make up an acronym, which translates to "A Great Miracle Happened There." (You may want to remind them that the miracle is that the oil lasted so much longer than would have been expected.) In order to play, the players put something into the pot (money, chocolate coins, raisins or nuts). If the dreidel stops on Nun, the player who spun the top gets nothing. If it falls on Gimmel, the spinner gets everything in the center. On Hay, the player takes half. Finally, if it lands on Shin, the player must add to the pot. Another fun activity is making your own, edible dreidels. You can make them by putting a thin pretzel into the top of a marshmallow. Turn the marshmallow, dab peanut butter on the bottom and then attach a chocolate kiss.
Activities that Teach about Chanukah

Activities that Teach about Passover

Food and Games of Passover

ADL Home Page | Religious Issues in Public Schools Home Page
Search | About ADL | Contact ADL | Privacy Policy

2000 Anti-Defamation League