With Chanukah arriving on the heels of Thanksgiving, Jews will welcome the wealth of gifts and resources available on the UAHC Web site to make their celebrations hassle-free.
Chanukah on the Prairie , the latest UAHC Press release, is available along with an extensive catalog of holiday favorites; there are new online resources with recipes, holiday facts, and suggestions for family activities; and a new CD featuring songs by Debbie Friedman, Peter Yarrow, and others is available from Transcontinental Music Publications.
Books for Children of All Ages
In Chanukah on the Prairie, the new book from the UAHC Press, author Burt E. Schuman looks back into American Jewish history to detail a unique holiday celebration in an unlikely place. Illustrated by Rosalind Charney Kaye, the book follows the Zalcman family, 19th Century immigrants from Poland, as they travel through Ellis Island and settle in the burgeoning Jewish community of Grand Forks, North Dakota. As they gather together to celebrate Chanukah with their new congregation, they watch the lights of dozens of chanukiot reflect on the glass windows and think about how far they've come - and how far they have to go. Schuman based the book on his experience as a student rabbi at B'nai Israel Synagogue in Grand Forks, and his love of that community shines through on every page. Hardbound with full-color illustrations, Chanukah on the Prairie retails for $12.95 and is appropriate for children in grades K through 3.
Also available from the Press is The Chanukah Blessing, written by Peninnah Schram and illustrated by Jeffrey Allon, a retelling of an old fable that illustrates the importance of sharing and generosity; Let There Be Lights, a beautifully illustrated board book that introduces toddlers to the symbols and images of the holiday; and The Eight Nights: A Chanukah Counting Book, which uses lively rhymes and exquisite full-color graphics to depict the delights of the season.
Entertaining Chanukah activities also abound in My Jewish Holiday Fun Book by Ann D. Koffsky, which guides children through a board game in which they help the Maccabees light their menorah; and Chocolate Chip Challah…And Other Twists on the Jewish Holiday Table by Lisa Rauchwerger, a family cookbook that includes delightful recipes for latkes, applesauce, and "Maccabee Mushroom Burgers." For information on these and other books, log onto the UAHC Press Web site.
Those looking for information about the holiday, activities to do with their children, or new Chanukah recipes will find the UAHC Web site is the place to begin the search.
The Jewish Parent Page includes a lesson on the history of the holiday, recipes for delicious latkes and sufganiyot (doughnuts), traditional Chanukah blessings in both Hebrew and English, festive songs, and a "discussion starter" exercise designed to help parents and children talk about faith, miracles, and family.
For parents and teachers of preschoolers, the a new Holiday Happenings web site contains a child-friendly version of the Chanukah story with lessons about the importance of faith, and a guide to a menorah-lighting ceremony that young children can participate in.
From the UAHC's Jewish Holidays web site, visitors will find a glossary of Chanukah terms, more family holiday activities, and links to Chanukah pages from synagogues across North America.
Let There Be Music!
Also available for the season is Celebrate Hanukkah, a new compact-disc compilation of holiday songs by renowned Jewish artists including Debbie Friedman, Peter Yarrow, and Alan Eder; and Al Hanisim: For the Miracles, by Cantor Robbie Solomon, a new piece for two-part choir or children's choir with accompaniment, both published by Transcontinental Music Publications. Browse Transcon's catalog -- which contains more than 20 selections for Chanukah alone. The festive, celebratory music of Chanukah is as enjoyable to sing as it is to listen to, and Transcontinental Music is an excellent source for holiday sheet music and compact discs.