Events & Volunteer Opportunities for Chanukah 2016

Thanks in part to these sites for some of the events listed here. Click for their updated event list.

Every day/night of Chanukah:

Kotel Menorah Lighting in Jerusalem
The menorah at the Kotel (Western Wall) will be lit every night in an iconic public ceremony in the presence of leading rabbis and dignitaries, at 16:30 every evening.

Chabad Mamilla Hanukiyah Lighting
By the entrance to Mamilla shopping center. Details to be confirmed.

December 24-31:

Lighting of Hanukkah Candles:
At Rabin Square, Sarona Square, Hatachana Complex and Habima Square.

Light-pipes at the Tel Aviv Port
From afar it looks like an alleyway lit with Christmas lights, but as you draw closer you will see dozens of clear pipes covered with shining lights with thousands of rolling balls, all creating together a vast Hanukkah Menorah that will be lit during the Hanukkah nights.

Every weekend in December

Winter Festival
Enjoy the special concerts, plays, dance performances and exhibitions that make up Jerusalem’s annual winter festival, such as the nightly hannukia tours in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City or the Ethnic Music Festival at the Museum for Islamic Art taking place during the holiday, as well as much more.


Winter Opera at the Jaffa Flea Market
Starring Israeli Opera singers.

Share your holiday spirit with the people of Jerusalem!
All you have to do is share a photo of your holiday atmosphere or celebration with the hashtag #Hanukkahjlm, and your photo will show up on the wall in downtown Jerusalem’s Zion Square for all to see.

Saturday, December 24

Night Light Festival in downtown Tel Aviv
The Neve Sha’anan neighborhood was originally designed as a candelabrum. During 2 nights in December (22nd and 24th), the neighborhood will recreate the original candelabrum and illuminate the multicultural abundance and complexity of the neighborhood with dozens of Performances, light installations and projections, music, food, tours, parties, and engaged-art in public and private spaces.

Hamshushalayim is an event series that takes place on four weekends in Jerusalem in December. The series offers the public an amazing array of events at cultural institutions in the city with museums and tourist sites opening free of charge to the public and tens of free or very affordable music performances, street theater, musical. exciting night tours, and concerts across Jerusalem. 

Museums and galleries in Jerusalem participating in the Hamshushalayim series with free entry on certain days include:

Other events will take place throughout Hamshushalayim including:

  •         Tours of City of David
  •         Jerusalem Jazz Festival
  •         Hullegeb Israel-Ethiopian Arts Festival
  •         Flamenco and Ladino Music at Post Hostel
  •         Pianos 2016 and the Jerusalem Theatre
  •         And more events

Sunday, December 25

Light from Jerusalem: 2nd Night of Chanukah at the Hurva Synagogue in the Old City
Join Gesher Shel Zahav to light the 2nd candle for the organization’s 7th annual Chanukah Candle Lighting ceremony at the Churva Synagogue. Along with Olim Chadashim, the ceremony will be joined by community leaders and Rabbis from around the world, winners of the Israel Prize, families whose family members were killed during Operation Protective Edge and young Bar and Bat Mitzvah youth from around Israel. The event will be broadcasted live via satellite with families from Miami, London and Paris participating. There will be musical performances by David Deor, the Israel Police Choir and Kleizmer musical artist Bernie Merenbach. Everything will be conducted in Hebrew. For those that have trouble with Hebrew, it is still an inspiring experience to be at this ceremony in the Churva Synagogue in the Old City.

“Sponsor a Sweater”  for the boys of Bet Sanhedria Boys Home
Places are limited, for more details and to reserve, please email

Hanukiot Tour in Bnei Brak
This professionally guided tour in English will explore between the lit streets and alleys of the incredible Zichron Meir neighborhood of Bnei Brak, which has many famous Yeshivot and Synagogues. We will examine and explore the various types of Hanukiot and their designs on the different streets of the neighborhood and get a feel for the spirit of Hanuka of Bnei Brak.

Monday, December 26th

“Bake/Make” -Refreshment for the Zichron Menachem Chanukah Party food packing.
Places are limited, for more details and to reserve a please email

Chanukah Tiyul to Beit Shean
Hanukah trip for all the family! Come to see Israel’s hidden gems – Bet Shean and Emek Hamaayanot area. Enjoy the amazing views and trails of Mount Gilboa and the Valley of Springs. We will walk along the “Tzvika Kaplan Trail” and meet Tzvika’s father Yehuda who will tell Tzvika’s story. See the history of Israel through the archaeological remains from each historic period, including rare mosaics and a Roman amphitheater still in use today.

Hannukah Social @Cafe Europa
Adopt-A-Safta Chnaukah Social at Cafe Europa – the social club for Holocaust survivors. Light the Third candle and shrae in the festive spirit of Chanukah. Wine. Sufganiyot. Music. *Want to liven our festivities? Play an instrument? Have a great voice?*Please contact our Adopt-A-Safta Director Noa to contribute your talents. To RSVP, please click here

Special Soccer Training & Volunteering with Macabbi TLV Soccer Club
Join us for a special training and volunteering for NBN Olim familes with the Macabbi Tel Aviv Soccer Club at their training facility. The soccer training activity will be 2 hours and will include an interactive presentation about Maccabi, Sports & Israel, a training session with one of the Maccabi coaches, an encounter with one of the players from the First Team, Youth Team or Legends Team, a number of simultaneous soccer games and a Maccabi Souvenir. The volunteering activity will take place at the Jaffa Institute, where we will put together food packages for needy families in South Tel Aviv. For anyone with a car, you will be invited to deliver packages as well.

Tuesday, December 27

NBN Chanukah Panoply & Charity Raffle
Come celebrate the 4th night of Chanukah with a night of fun competition, laughter, and great prizes. Panoply/Pub Quiz consists of a number of rounds including interesting questions and challenges (audio visuals, music clips, trivia and more). Questions are easy enough so that everyone can take part, but just hard enough to separate the true champions.

Wednesday, December 28

Chanukah Chesed Party for Firefighters!
The organization Thank Israeli Soldiers has invited NBN Olim to join them for a Chanukah Chesed Party with Jerusalem Firemen! We will be gathering at the Firehouse in Jerusalem. We will be meeting with local firemen that helped fight the fires that blazed all over Israel last month. This will be an opportunity to thank these heroes for their miracle work to protect us and our land. They will tell us about their jobs and what they did last month, and it will also be a chesed opportunity for us to thank the firemen.

JCHAT – OU Israel Center for Young Professionals Chanukah Party. Chanuka Celebration with the Jerusalem Community Hub for Anglos and Torah-The new young professionals’ division of OU Israel-this event is for English speaking adults (ages 25-45). Wednesday Night, Click on here for details.

Yad Ezra Veshulamit

Shop for the needy. Places are limited, for more details and to reserve a please email

Thursday, December 29th

Food packing at Ohr Meir Ubracha –Meir Panim Soup Kitchen
Places are limited, for more details and to reserve a please email Hannah@jgift.org

Friday, December 30

Viennese Christmas Ball
Mozart, Haydan, Strauss, Offenbach. At St. Nicholas Armenian Church, Jaffa

Visit old age home, Candies to kids in the hospital
Places are limited, for more details and to reserve a please email Hannah@jgift.org

Saturday, December 31

8th Night, New Years Eve
JICNY Chanukah Party –

Multiple Dates:

December 26-January 1, 2016

Celebrate Hanukkah fun at the Bloomfield Science Museum with a wide range of activities, exhibitions, performances and hands-on workshops as part of the new “Make Light” exhibit.

December 26-29, 2016

The Bible Lands Museum will be hosting some of the best children’s theater groups for daily shows throughout the holiday, and while the kids are enjoying the performances, parents can take tours of the museum.

December 27-29

Lights Market Festival
Givo’n Square will dress up with the holiday spirit while trees will become Christmas trees, Nazareth’s Christmas Market will be a guest of Tel Aviv, music, street performances, food stalls and more.

Show by the creators of The Aluminum Show
Check out the latest show by the creators of The Aluminum Show, as they once again bring to life industrial materials through dance and music to tell a heart-warming tale in this interactive performance for the whole family.

No date listed:

This year, Jerusalem’s #1 hostel will be celebrating the holiday with a trio of concerts by upcoming local artists.

Judean Desert Jeep Tour
Head just east from Jerusalem and you’ll be in the magical and beautiful Judean Desert. Exploring by jeep, leave the road and experience some of the beautiful sights that the desert has in store – wonders of nature and beautiful locations such as Wadi Qelt, amazing viewpoints, and wonders of mankind.

Hanukkah Walking Tours – Old City or Nachlaot
To get the full ambiance of Hanukkah in Jerusalem join an evening walking tours as the glow of hundreds of Hanukkah Menorahs light your path. Choose between exploring the quaint, historical and eclectic neighborhood of Nachlaot on the Magical Nachlaot Candle Lit Tour or the ancient, spellbinding sites of Jerusalem’s Old City on the Mystical Old City Candle Lit Tour