JCC Chicago illuminates the holidays with in-person events
The holiday season, which takes place during the darkest time of the year, is celebrated in many faiths and cultures with traditions of illumination.
As Jews around the world celebrate the Festival of Lights by lighting the menorah, JCC Chicago illuminates the holiday season with their annual 8 Nights of Hanukkah celebration. Hosting mostly in-person programming, along with some virtual favorites, the J hopes to reconnect the community after over a year of mostly virtual programming due to COVID-19.
"This past year has been a time of darkness and isolation for many in our community. In response, JCC Chicago has taken a thoughtful and intentional leading role in providing many points of connection and opportunities for people to come together safely," says Ilene Uhlmann, Director of Community Engagement. "We are thrilled to offer people choices that meet the community where they are at with their COVID comfort level."
All ages are invited to light up the season for all eight nights and celebrate across the Chicagoland area. The JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival will ignite the celebration with a virtual Hanukkah Film Fest, offering a festival package of 8 films including shorts, narratives and documentaries, plus live talkbacks. On the first night of Hanukkah, families are invited to join the J for a complimentary virtual presentation of the Oscar's 2022 Qualified Animated short film "The Broken Candle." JCC Chicago's overnight camp in the Wisconsin Dells, Camp Chi is hosting a Toys for Tots toy drive from now through the final night of Hanukkah with toy drop-off locations in Lakeview, Northbrook, and Lake Zurich. JCC Chicago's Apachi Day Camps will host in-person Third Night, Third Light celebrations featuring drive-up concerts, neon light parties, hot chocolate bars, and holiday goodies to take home.
The week continues with JCC Chicago Early Childhood hosting a virtual pajama party and drive-up concerts in Northbrook. For families looking to stay bundled up inside, there are plenty of virtual options as well including a free screening of the film "Sing!" and a challah braiding class taught by Northbrook baker Anya Viner. Capping off the festivities is a holiday celebration in partnership with Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville, with live entertainment, Hanukkah games and candle lighting for families, plus ice skating and refreshments for teens and young adults.
For more information and to register for all of JCC Chicago's 8 Nights of Hanukkah, visit jccchicago.org/8nights.