Holidays & spiritual

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JCC East Bay’s community menorah lighting. Candle lighting for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. At the JCC East Bay Berkeley branch, 1414 Walnut St. 5:45 p.m. Free.

Bill Graham menorah lightings. Nightly lighting of the enormous menorah in Union Square. Through Dec. 23, with official Bill Graham Menorah Day with Olate Dogs and more on Dec. 21. At Union Square, S.F. Most lightings at 5 p.m., but see website for details. Free.

JCCSF menorah lightings. Nightly celebration with story time, candlelighting and singing. Through Dec. 23. Also Dec. 20: a Hanukkah version of “Saturdays Unplugged” from 4 to 6 p.m. will include a menorah lighting, dreidel garden, storytelling, concert by Saul Goodman Klezmer Band and treats. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F. 4 p.m., menorah lighting at 4:30. Free.

“Chanukah at Chevra.” Menorah lighting followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and a Greek dinner. Also, a “latkes as you like them” bar, sufganiyot and a dreidel tournament. RSVP required. At Congregation Chevra Thilim, 751 25th Ave., S.F. Menorah lighting at 4:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. $20-$25.


Hanukkah pop-up benefit dinner. Sephardic food, singing by Yiddish classical artist and soprano Heather Klein, dreidel games. Event supports West End Farmers Market public assistance program. Hosted by Goodman’s Jewish Deli. At farmers market, 817 Donahue St., Santa Rosa. 5 p.m. $20-$70, kids under 10 free.

Humanistic Hanukkah. Kol Hadash hosts  potluck party and silent auction, with over 40 items up for bid. Includes Havdallah service. At Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany. 6 p.m. Free. (510) 982-1455 or

Hanukkah community celebration. Features a menorah lighting, singing, traditional Hanukkah food for sale and live music from multiple acts, including the Nigunim Chorus, Adama Band and Rivka Amado. At the JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 7 p.m. $15 for adults, children free. or (510) 528-8872

Chanukah in the Park at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. First Annual Norcal Chanukah Festival at Six Flags, featuring catered kosher holiday food, edible dreidel decorating, live Chanukah musical entertainment and a grand menorah lighting ceremony in the main plaza. Presented in conjunction with the Chabads of Solano and Napa counties. At Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, 1001 Fairgrounds Dr. SW, Vallejo. 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. $28.69.

Or Shalom Hanukkah celebration. Potluck dinner, games, singing and group hanukkiah lighting (bring your own!). RSVP required. At Or Shalom Jewish Community, 625 Brotherhood Way, S.F. 5:30 p.m. Free, but bring vegetarian dish or dessert.

Chabad of the Tri-Valley’s “Chanukah Under the Stars.” Public menorah lighting at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater. Includes music and treats. At 2400 First St., Livermore. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free.


“Darkness and Light: Hanukkah Retreat.” Daylong Jewish meditation retreat led by Makor Or co-founder Norman Fischer and Rabbi Dorothy Richman. No previous experience with meditation, Hebrew or prayer necessary. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $50-$60.

Ner Shalom community Hanukkah. Celebration featuring mostly vegetarian potluck dinner with latkes, candlelighting, games and singing. At Congregation Ner Shalom, 85 La Plaza, Cotati. 5 p.m. Free, but RSVP required and potluck item requested. [email protected]

Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring Hanukkah party. Hosted by the group’s Northern California members. Latkes, beverages and discussion with Los Angeles–based Yiddishist Hershl Hartman on “The Hidden History of Hanukkah: What the Talmud ‘Missed’ — But Ben Franklin Knew!” At Humanities Hall, 1185 Vicente St., S.F. 2:30 p.m. Free, but  RSVP and potluck dishes requested. (415) 566-7235

“Chanukah Wonderland.” Menorah lighting sponsored by Chabad of Noe Valley, with children’s activities, live music and a magic show. At 24th and Sanchez streets, S.F. 3 to 5:30 p.m. Free. (415) 902-0886.

Hanukkah celebration at Magain David. Menorah lighting followed by party with latkes, sufganiyot, games and prizes for children. At Magain David Sephardim Congregation, 351 4th Ave., S.F. 6 p.m. Free, but donations welcome. (415) 752-9095 or

Chabad of Cole Valley menorah lighting. Help build and kindle a giant Lego menorah, and enjoy juggling, face painting, music, coffee and refreshments. At Grattan Playground, 1180 Stanyan St., S.F. 3 to 5 p.m.

Hanukkah concert and party. This all-ages event features noshes, activities and a folk music and sing-along concert with children’s performers Melita Silberstein and Isaac Zones. At 4 p.m., Rabbi Chaim Mahgel-Friedman, one of the store’s co-owners, will lead a menorah lighting. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5 suggested donation.

Chabad Jewish Center Berkeley menorah lighting. Building and lighting of a menorah from cans of donated goods (later to be given to those in need), with  music by the Ferris Wheels, face painting, balloons by Buki the Clown, a raffle and more. At CB2, 1730 Fourth St., Berkeley. 4:30 p.m. Free.

Contra Costa Jewish Book and Arts Festival menorah lighting. With traditional Hanukkah foods, dreidels, kids’ activities and a performance by the Red Panda Acrobats. Hosted by Chabad of Contra Costa. At Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. 4 to 6 p.m. Free.

Beyt Tikkun menorah lighting. Event includes story of Hanukkah, latkes with sour cream and applesauce, music by Achi Ben-Shalom and other festivities. At Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Hall, 1606 Bonita Ave., Berkeley. 4 to 7 p.m. $10 for nonmembers.

Chabad of Sonoma County menorah lighting. Public lighting hosted by Chabad of Sonoma County. At Montgomery Village, 911 Village Court, Santa Rosa. 5 p.m. Also Dec. 22 at Oliver’s Market, 546 East Cotati Ave., Cotati. 4 p.m. Free.

Glow-In-The-Dark Hanukkah celebration. Menorah lighting with treats, music, face painting and free menorahs and dreidels. Presented by Chabad of Oakland and Piedmont. At the Piedmont Exedra Arch, Highland Ave. at Magnolia Ave., Piedmont. 5 p.m. Free. (510) 545-6770 or


San Ramon menorah lighting. Public lighting hosted by Chabad of Contra Costa County. At Whole Foods Market, 100 Sunset Drive, San Ramon. 6 p.m. Free.


Last year’s Jelly Belly event with Rabbi Chaim Zaklos photo/chabad of Solano county

Sweetest Hanukkah ever. What’s better than a menorah? A menorah made of jellybeans. The annual Jelly Belly menorah lighting event, hosted by Chabad of Solano County, will feature the lighting of a giant jellybean-filled menorah at the Jelly Belly factory itself. This event will boast a variety of activities for kids, food and the opportunity to get your picture taken with Mr. Jelly Belly dressed up as Judah Maccabee. Does that make  him a “Maccabean”?

4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23 at Jelly Belly Factory, 1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. Free.

Menorah lighting at Westfield San Francisco Centre. Menorah lighting under the dome on Level 4, led by Rabbi Moshe Langer of Chabad of Pacific Heights. Treats, children’s activities and music. At Westfield Centre, 865 Market St., S.F. 5 p.m., lighting at 6 p.m.

“Chanukah on Ice.” Chabad of Contra Costa presents outdoor skating with menorah lighting on the ice. With Jewish music and a low-cost ($1-$2.50) kosher food concession. At Walnut Creek on Ice, 1265 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. $18 at the door, $15 in advance.


“HUBad SoMa Shul.” Chabad of S.F. happy hour followed by Shabbat services and dinner. At S.F. School of Digital Filmmaking, 925 Mission St., Suite 108, S.F. 5 p.m. Free, $25 suggested donation for dinner.