There are a lot of different ways to spell Hanukkah because there is no single English translation of the Hebrew word (see the titles for the event listings below if you don't believe me). But everyone is commemorating the same holiday, a celebration of Jewish national survival and religious freedom.
Hanukkah will be celebrated December 9-16, 2012. This guide also includes post-Hanukkah events like the Matzo Ball and other Jewish singles parties on Christmas Eve and Klezmer for Kids on December 26th.
Hanukkah In New York Event Guide 2012
- Lighting of the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah
Everything is bigger in New York City. The Rockefeller Center tree has nothing on the world's largest Hanukkah menorah. This 32-foot-tall, two-ton candelabra is lit by a cherry picker. The nightly lighting ceremonies will be accompanied by folk dancing and sufganiyot (holiday jelly doughnuts). On the evening of December 8th, a special celebration will include live music, singing and dancing, "Chanukah Gelt" for the children and hot "Latkes" (potato pancakes) for everyone.
- When: December 8-16, 2012 at about 5:30PM. The celebration continues at the same time each night of Hanukkah, except on the Sabbath. Candles will be lit at 3:30PM on Friday and at 8:30PM on Saturday.
- Where: Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street near Central park
- Admission: FREE
- Hanukkah Lights at the 92nd Street Y
Each night during Hanukkah, you can join the menorah lighting in the main lobby at the 92nd Street Y, dance and sing with the 92Y School of Dance and the 92Y School of Music, then end the celebration with chocolate Hanukkah gelt. On Sunday, December 2, you can bring the whole family to a Hanukkah Festival at the 92nd Street Y featuring crafts (make your own menorah, decorate dreidels, produce olive oil), live music (from Shababa Mamas and the Miracle Makers), and more. Bring an unwrapped give to contribute to the 92Y Hurricane Sandy Gift Drivel.
- When: Saturday, December 8 through Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 4:30PM.
- Where: 92nd Street Y, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
- Admission: Hanukkah Lights events are FREE, Hanukkah Festival admission is $10 per person
- Hanukkah Concert at Town & Village Synagogue
Celebrate Hanukkah music at the annual Cantor Louis Moss Memorial Concert, featuring Cantor Shayna Postman, the Town & Village Synagogue Choir, and other special musical guests. The concert will include a candle lighting and singalong.
- When: Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 7:30PM
- Where: Town & Village Synagogue, 334 East 14th Street, 212-677-8090
- Admission: $30 at the door, $25 before December 13 ($10 for college/graduate students, free for students under 18)
- Sephardic Music Festival
The Sephardic Music Festival is back in town from December 8-12, 2012. Artists including Yair Dalal, Electro Morocco, Michal Cohen, Diwon, Pharaoh's Daughter, and many others will be performing in venues ranging from Joe's Pub to the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue.
- When: December 8-12, 2012
- Where: Multiple venues
- Admission: See specific show listings for admission prices.
- LGBT Hanukkah Events
Check out two gay-friendly Hanukkah celebrations for New York's LGBT community.
- Family Celebration at The Jewish Museum
Visit The Jewish Museum for special Hanukkah crafts and fun. You can learn to create a Hanukkah menorah from found objects, decorate a dreidel, dance to the tunes of Yosi and the Superdads, explore the Museum’s world-famous collection of Hanukkah lamps .
- When: Sunday, December 9, 2012; Noon-4PM
- Where: The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
- Admission: Activities are free with museum admission ($12 for adults, $7.50 for students, and FREE for kids under 12).
- Menorah Horah
Celebrate Hanukkah with a night of campy cabaret and burlesque starring the Schlep Sisters. Lights! Lust! Latkes!
- When: Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 8PM (doors open at 6PM)
- Where: Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street
- Admission: $20 for general admission, $30 for VIP seating int he first two rows
- The Ball On Christmas Eve
It's not actually a Hanukkah celebration, but this party hosted by Let My People Go is the biggest Jewish singles event of the year. The 2012 Ball will host thousands of Jewish singles at five venues.
- When: Monday, December 24, 2012. 8PM-4AM
- Where: Location details not yet available. Check back soon for updates.
- Admission: Check back soon for ticket price information.
This Jewish singles extravaganza hosted by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals will keep Capitale hopping on Christmas Eve.
- When: Monday, December 24, 2012. 9PM-2AM
- Where: Capitale, 130 Bowery, 212-334-5500
- Admission: Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online.
- Klezmer for Kids
At this interactive song and dance performance, kids can explore Hanukkah through Eastern European Jewish music and heritage lessons drawn from Yiddish and Hasidic traditions. Sing, dance, learn some Yiddish, and even "get married" during an audience-enacted shtetl wedding ceremony.
- When: Tuesday, December 25, 2012; 1P-4PMM
- Where: Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street between Canal and Division Streets
- Admission: Adults $12, Students and Seniors $8, Kids Under 12 $6