Hanukkah FAQs

What is Hanukkah?

That is a great question, but too long for this frequently asked question page! Click here to see our Hanukkah page which has an explanation of the holiday.

The URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) has a wonderful secion on its website discussing the history and more about the holiday (http://www.reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays). It even provides an opportunity to light virtual candles! 

How do you spell this holiday anyway?

It is most commonly transliterated to English as Chanukah, Hanukkah or Hannukah.  As such, you may spell it anyway you wish!

When does Or Chadash celebrate Hannukah?

Or Chadash celebrates Hanukkah on the Shabbat closest to the holiday, while trying to accommodate the secular calendar, too. 

What time is the service?

The Hannukah service is always a Family Shabbat Service.  That means it begins at 7 PM and will conclude in one hour.

Do I need to bring anything to the service?

We encourage you to bring your Hanukkah Menorahs to our celebration.  We will place them on tables in front of the bema and have a group lighting ceremony.  We encourage you to bring as many Menorahs as you would like.

Should I bring candles?

No. Or Chadash provides candles.

What time does the lighting of the candles occur?

We need to light the Hanukkah candles before we light the Shabbat candles.  So it is first. So, if you are late to the service you will miss the candlelighting!  Remember, services will start at 7PM.

Is there anything else I should bring?

We would love for anyone who can to make Latkes to do so and share them during our Oneg (celebratory meal after the service).   (Frozen/homemade/store purchased,  sweet potato, vegetarian, gluten free, egg free--we love them all!)

Please let us (admin@orchadash-nj.org) know that you can help.  Thank you in advance.

Can I bring my extended family or friends to the service?

Of course!  Always! Or Chadash is open to all.  Friends, family and neighbors of all ages are encouraged to join us.  Our Family Services last one hour, and there will be lots of singing.  Song sheets are provided.

Is there a special Oneg (celebratory meal after the service)?

Yes.  In addition to an oneg filled with latkes and chocolate gelt coins, we will also be making edible dreidels as well as injectable sufganiyot (donuts that we fill with jelly--- they don't do latkes in Israel!).

Are there any other Or Chadash traditions for Hanukkah?

Yes.  Or Chadash is proud of its efforts to support Ner Shel Tzedakah in our community.

What is Ner Shel Tzedakah?

Hanukkah has traditionally been a time of giving gifts and/or gelt (money) to children. In Eastern Europe, children were dismissed from school early to enjoy their small bit of pocket money and have some time off during the holiday. As we all know, this tradition of gift giving and receiving has magnified over the years.

As Jews, we wrestle with the extent to which we should allow our secular culture of commercialism to undermines the true meaning of our celebration.  Hanukkah can be a time to reexamine what we consider gifts to be and how we go about giving and receiving gifts.

Ner Shel Tzedakah ("Candle of Righteousness") is a project in which families and individuals devote the sixth night of Hanukkah to helping others.  We encourage everyone to donate the value of the gifts (or the gifts themselves) that otherwise would be exchanged on that night to organizations that assist others in our community. By making donations on the sixth night of Hanukkah, families help the Jewish candle of righteousness glow brightly for those in need.

What does Or Chadash specifically do?

Or Chadash has "adopted" the Hunterdon Youth Services, more affectionately known as the Sand Hill Boys Home in Raritan Township.  Hunterdon Youth Services provides professional services and a safe home for teenage boys who are need some time away from their family.  On their behalf, we collect funds from our Temple family to give each boy in the Home a gift card for a shopping excursion.

How quickly do you need me to participate.  The sixth night is approaching.

We would love for you to participate as soon as possible but we do have a little extra time.  The Sand Hill Boys will hold its holiday party in mid-December.   We need to collect the funds prior to their party.

Do I have to go to the Shabbat Hanukkah service to participate in Ner Shel Tzedakah? How can I/we participate in Ner Shel Tzedakah?

No attendance is not required to participate.  It is SO easy.  There is a link on the front page of our website.