This year, Chanukah begins early on the secular calendar – the evening of Sunday, Nov. 28 – and continues through Dec. 5. The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland has curated a webpage, jewishportland.org/chanukah-resources, full of resources to help you celebrate.
Explore local events at jewishportland.org/chanukah-happenings. Following is a sampling of local and online Chanukah happenings.
Nov. 28: Celebrate with Eric Kimmel!
Join PJ Library and Green Bean Books for their annual story time with Eric Kimmel to welcome Chanukah! Zoom in at 4 pm, Nov. 28, for story hour with the Portland author, who has written more than 150 books for children, including the 1990 Caldecott Award Honor Book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins.
The five-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award added two new Chanukah titles to his writings this year.
Shield of the Maccabees, Eric’s first graphic novel, is about two friends, Jason and Jonathan, who live in Judea at the time of the first Chanukah. As war erupts, the two serve in opposing armies. Can their friendship endure?
The Three Latkes starts with a challenge. Which latke tastes best? The children choose Doug’s cat to be the judge since his cat eats everything.
PJ Library and Green Bean Books have hosted the story hour for about seven years. Last year, as it has this year, the event moved from the children’s bookstore on Northeast Alberta to Zoom. For more information and to register, visit jewishportland.org/community-calendar/chanukah-story-hour-with-eric-kimmel.
Nov. 28: Gresham Chanukah Celebration
The new Gresham Chabad Jewish Center will present its first Giant Menorah Lighting and Celebration at 5 pm, Nov. 28, at the Gresham Arts Plaza, 401 NE Second St.
The event will include the lighting of a 12-foot menorah, a giant inflatable dreidel, lively music, donuts and chocolate gelt. Admission is free and all are welcome. This will be the inaugural event of the Gresham Chabad Jewish Center serving the Jewish community of the East County. (See related story jewishportland.org/jewishreview/jr-stories/new-chabad-gresham)
For details, visit jewishgresham.com or call 503-389-0312.
Nov. 28: Vancouver Chanukah Celebration
Join Chabad of Clark County 5-6 pm, Nov. 28, at Esther Short Park for the Vancouver Community Chanukah Celebration.
Join us on the first night of Chanukah. The free community event will include the lighting of the grand menorah, a live ice-carving demonstration, multi-media Chanukah presentation, and donuts and hot cocoa.
For more information, visit JewishClarkCounty.com
Nov. 28: DIY dreidels for Russian speakers
B’nai B’rith Camp and DIY Steel present an opportunity for the Russian-speaking Jewish community to connect and celebrate Chanukah together from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Nov. 28. A DIY Steel Dreidel-Making Class and Chanukah Celebration for Russian-Speaking Families will be held at The Standard Steel Companies (1745 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland, OR 97211).
Bring the family to this DIY festive holiday class! Create a beautiful piece of steel art for your family, friends or just for you this holiday season. We will put together a four-piece steel dreidel and learn the proper way to clean and paint metal – all while celebrating Chanukah BB Camp style!
Cost is $10 per kit (one steel dreidel ready for assembly and painting per kit; no limit on how many you can order).
Maximum of 15 families. Register: bbcamp.org/dreidel/.
Nov. 28-Dec. 4: Online candle-lighting at CNS
Join Congregation Neveh Shalom on Zoom for a moment of reflection, connection and light during Chanukah. Join the candle-
lighting on Zoom at 5:45 pm, Nov. 29-Dec. 2 and Dec. 4. To join the program, visit nevehshalom.org/chanukah2021 and click on the Zoom link for that day.
Nov. 28-Dec. 5: Chanukah Film Festival
Neveh Shalom is a participating member in the 2021 Chanukah Film Festival presented by Menemsha Films and ChaiFlicks. Celebrate the season with eight nights of award-winning new films, available to view from the comfort of home via your TV, computer or mobile devices. Your ticket purchase provides limited-time access to this series of 11 films, plus exclusive filmmaker discussions and more, with new content added each night of Chanukah.
Opening night features the world premiere of the animated Chanukah short “The Broken Candle” and premieres of two diverse explorations of history: “Xueta Island” (the Inquisition) and “UnRaveling” (Pancho Villa).
Closing night premieres the most awarded family drama and winner of four Israeli Academy Awards “Here We Are.”
For tickets and a complete schedule, visit menemshafilms.com/hanukkahff2021. Use promo code NS2900 to get a Gold Pass for $36 for the full festival.
Nov. 28-Dec. 5: Pioneer Square menorah
Chabad of Oregon will light Portland’s public Chanukah menorah at Pioneer Courthouse Square Nov. 28-Dec. 5.
The first night will begin at 5 pm with live music, Chanukah foods, dignitaries and festivities to kick off the eight nights of Chanukah. Menorah lighting will be at 5:30 pm.
Nov. 29-Dec. 2, the lighting will be at 5:30 pm. On Dec. 3, the menorah will be lit before Shabbat at 3 pm. Dec. 4, the lighting will be after Shabbat ends at 6:30 pm. The lighting returns to 5:30 pm for the final night of Chanukah on Dec. 5.
For more information about Chanukah and events, visit Chabad.org/Hanukkah. For more information on the Portland lightings, contact Rabbi Motti Wilhelm at 503-381-7119 or RabbiMotti@ChabadOregon.com.
Dec. 2: Chanukah Jewish Heritage Night
Celebrate the fifth night of Chanukah with the Trail Blazers on Dec. 2. Enjoy the giant menorah lighting and take a photo with Dreidel Man as the Trail Blazers take on the San Antonio Spurs at the Moda Center. Chabad-Lubavitch of Oregon will once again team up with the Trail Blazers for the celebration.
All guests ages 12 and up nust be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours. All guests must wear a mask. Discounted tickets prices start at just $11 and can be purchased as long as supply lasts at Rosequarter.com/groupnights Promo Code: CHABADOR.
Dec. 3: Donuts for Dinner
Congregation Beth Israel hosts Donuts for Dinner 4-6 pm, Dec. 3, on the Beth Israel Plaza at 1972 NW Flanders.
Stop by our outdoor plaza to see our Chanukah lights display! We’ll have blow-ups, lights, music and so many photo ops. Come for the lights, stay for the donuts. At 5 pm, Kim Schneiderman will lead singing and candle-lighting.
The event is part of CBI’s Mini Mensches: A community of families with children 0-5 creating lasting friendships, Jewish connection and memories together. For more information, visit bethisrael-pdx.org/community/mini-mensches/.
Dec. 4: Queer Happy Hour and Dance Party
TischPDX celebrates Chanukah on Dec. 4 with two events. Based on Portland’s east side, TischPDX was co-founded by Eleyna Fugman, Rabbi Ariel Stone and Kalyn Culler-Cohen.
Join Rabbi Stone, Shir Tikvah and The Alberta Shul for the annual Chanukah happy hour on Dec. 4 from 5 to 7 pm in the Eastside Jewish Commons atrium. Bring a Chanukah menorah and candles to light the seventh candle together. BYOB. Safe snacks provided. We’ll be masked but still able to scream loudly enough to make the point when we get to traditional reading of Lemony Snicket’s “The Latke That Couldn’t Stop Screaming.”
Vaccination for adults required. RSVP: shirtikvahpdx.org/event/queer-hanukkah-candle-lighting1.
Following Happy Hour stay for the annual queer PDX Chanukah dance party and the latest in Caryn’s (TischPDX Cohort 3) queer Jewish holiday dance-a-thons! This event will loosely follow the Chanukah story as we dance our hearts out and eat some snacks from Jerusalem Rose from 7:30 to 10 pm. For questions and song requests, email Caryn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Masks should be worn at all times. The event will be in EJC’s large open atrium. Bring your vaccination cards to show at the door.
TischPDX bolsters the leadership and visions of Jews who have been historically marginalized in Jewish communal life. For more information, visit tischpdx.org.
Dec. 5: Donuts + Dreidels at the J
Mittleman Jewish Community Centers presents Donuts + Dreidels 1-3 pm, Dec. 5. Make decorations for your home, take part in Jewish folk dancing, spin the dreidel and eat some delicious sufganiyot (jelly donuts) at this family friendly Chanukah celebration. Story time and sing-alongs will also take place. The MJCC is at 6651 SW Capitol Hwy.
Cost: $5 per family. Register at oregonjcc.org/arts-culture/upcoming-events/donuts.
Dec. 5: Celebrate Chanukah with Kesser Israel
Join Kesser Israel for latkes, hot dogs, menorah lighting and Chanukah activities 5:30-7 pm, Dec. 5 at Kesser Israel, 6698 SW Capitol Hwy. Indoor and outdoor activities for COVID health options are open to the community. Tickets are $5/child, $7/adult, $25 family maximum.
For more information, email email@example.com or visit kesserisrael.org.
Dec. 3-5: Hanukkah Homecoming Weekend
Portland’s Congregation Shaarie Torah presents two programs at part of the Hanukkah Homecoming Weekend. As people emerge from the pandemic eager for community experiences, hundreds of congregations, JCCs, Federations, schools, camps, independent minyanim and Jewish organizations are mounting gatherings this Chanukah, marking a worldwide rededication of relational communities. Under the banner Hanukkah Homecoming Weekend, events around the world will be held onsite and online Dec. 3-5.
“This Chanukah is such a unique moment as Jewish communities begin returning to a sense of normalcy right at this festive, communal and family-oriented holiday,” says Dr. Ron Wolfson, Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University, who is leading the initiative. “There is something for everyone. Events are an opportunity to be a part of something greater, special, an exciting opportunity to celebrate not simply the holiday, but what we have all missed so much – our relationships with each other. The message is ‘reunite around the light’ and ‘come home.’”
Find Shaarie Torah’s Zoom events at connect.hanukkahhomecoming.org/events/e81ed3af-d236-4075-8df5-bd40e4d69cb1 (Hanukkah Party & Havdalah Dec. 4) and connect.hanukkahhomecoming.org/events/6777392f-5d41-4ebc-bd23-9d05a398f318 (Join Shaarie Torah members and guests each night for a fun community-lighting on Zoom.)
A wide variety of gatherings around the world are posted at hanukkahhomecoming.org.