A happy kid at a menorah making workshop in Contra Costa County. (Photo/Courtesy Chabad of Contra Costa)
A happy kid at a menorah making workshop in Contra Costa County. (Photo/Courtesy Chabad of Contra Costa)

Hanukkah events around the Bay Area for every age

There’s more to celebrating Hanukkah in the Bay Area than lighting candles, eating latkes and playing dreidel. From holiday concerts to craft workshops to mitzvah opportunities, there is something for every age group. This year, Hanukkah begins at nightfall on Thursday, Dec. 7. The eighth and final night is Thursday, Dec. 14. Here is a taste of Hanukkah events across the Bay Area. See our roundup of public menorah lightings for more holiday fun.

San Francisco

Friday, December 1

ArtBash Your Way: Hanukkah—Pick up free art kit filled with supplies, then follow instructional video and make art projects for Hanukkah with the Contemporary Jewish Museum. For ages 4-12. Supplies limited. Register for pickup Dec. 1-14 from locations in S.F., Berkeley, San Rafael and Foster City. Video goes up on Dec. 5. Free.

Hanukkah Coat Drive—JCCSF is collecting new or lightly worn coats in partnership with Compass Family Services to help support unhoused and at-risk families in San Francisco. Through Dec. 22. Bring items to JCCSF lobby, 3200 California St., S.F., from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or purchase items from Compass Family Services Amazon wish lists.

Hebrew School Hanukkah Shabbat—SF Hillel presents themed Shabbat with Hebrew school-style arts and crafts and guest speaker Sen. Scott Wiener. Bring latkes. At SF Hillel, 33 Banbury Drive, S.F. 5:30 p.m. Free, registration required. 

Sunday, December 3

Hanukkah Fair—Holiday fair with children’s art activities, latkes and vegetarian food, raffle, silent auction, live music from Jon Frank Jazz Quartet and Jewish Folk Chorus, and artisans selling hand-crafted Hanukkah gifts and cards. At Congregation Am Tikvah, 625 Brotherhood Way, S.F. 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 

Thursday, December 7

Lakeside Landing Menorah Lighting—Hanukkah event with crafts, dreidel, latkes, hot chocolate and menorah lighting. Presented by Chabad of the Neighborhood. At Lakeside Landing, 2504 Ocean Ave., S.F. 4:45-6:15 p.m. Free. 

Friday, December 8

“Light, Strength and Joy”—Shabbat and Hanukkah event with dinner, story time, communal candlelighting and Shabbat service. Bring hanukkiah. At Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St., S.F. 6 p.m. 

Let Your Light Shine—Lunar Collective presents an Asian Jewish Hanukkah celebration for Asian American Jews with niggun, Chinese food, latkes with sauces from different Asian cultures and refreshments. Negative covid test required. Co-sponsored by OneTable, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, and the Tzedek Fund, a program of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. Location provided with registration. 6 p.m. Free, register by Dec. 6.

At the JCCSF, musician Jonathan Bayer has been providing music at nightly menorah lightings.
Musician Jonathan Bayer playing at a nightly menorah lighting at JCCSF in 2021. (Photo/Courtesy JCCSF)

Saturday, December 9

Hanukkah Shabbat at the Jewseum—Program featuring a Hanukkah cabaret with bandleader Marc Capelle, readings of Hanukkah tales with drag queen Miss Shugana, an “ugliest menorah” contest with New Lehrhaus and a talk with author Adam Mansbach about his new novel. At Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F. 1-4 p.m. Free with museum admission. 

Sunday, December 10

S.F. JBN Hanukkah Celebration—Jewish Baby Network and Congregation Sherith Israel present holiday event for families with kids 5 and under. With singing, prayer, storytelling, menorah lighting, sufganiyot, latkes, goody bags and Hanukkah-themed crafts. At Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California St., S.F. 10-11:30 a.m. 

Tuesday, December 12

AJC Diplomats Hanukkah Celebration—American Jewish Committee San Francisco hosts its annual fundraiser and gala. List of honorees includes exemplary young Jewish advocates. With Hanukkah-themed refreshments. At The Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., S.F. 5-7:30 p.m. $190, $72 ages 40 and under. 

Thursday, December 14

Happy Joyous Hanukkah—Grammy-winning klezmer group The Klezmatics perform seasonal music from their holiday album. At SFJazz, 201 Franklin St., S.F. 7:30 p.m. $25-$85. 

Wednesday, December 20

Songs of Light and Joy—The Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco performs Hanukkah concert with songs in Yiddish, English, Ladino and Russian. At JCCSF, 3200 California St., S.F. 1-2 p.m. Free.

East Bay

Thursday, November 30

Resin Menorah Making—Pre-Hanukkah resin menorah making workshop and social. Presented by Chabad of Contra Costa. RSVP for location. 7 p.m. $36.

Sunday, December 3

Hanukkah Holiday Card Making—Bend the Arc gathering to write Ella Baker Center Hanukkah cards to people in California prisons. With schmoozing, music, snacks and latkes. At private residence, 4061 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland. 1-4 p.m. Free, RSVP by Nov. 24.

Alameda Holiday Fest—Temple Israel of Alameda presents dozens of vendors and local artists selling apparel, artwork, confections, fused glass, greeting cards, honey, jam, jewelry, soap, Judaica and more. At Temple Israel of Alameda, 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

Hanukkah Around the World—Multicultural celebration featuring a variety of global Hanukkah traditions. Activities include learning how to play the Mexican six-sided dreidel game Toma Todo, creating a Moroccan-style hanging menorah, henna tattoos from India and sampling fried treats from around the world. Presented by JCC East Bay, Camp Tawonga, Jewish Gateways, Berkeley Public Library, Olamim, PJ Library Bay Area, Hebrew Free Loan and Be’chol Lashon. At JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. 3-5 p.m. $18 per family.

East Bay JBN Hanukkah—Jewish Baby Network and Kehilla Synagogue present holiday event for families with kids 5 and under. With singing, prayer, goody bags and Hanukkah-themed crafts. At Lake Temescal, 6502 Broadway Terrace, Oakland. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Free.

Hanukkah Fair—Holiday fair with latke luncheon, candlelighting, arts and crafts and children’s activities. At Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central, Richmond. 12-2 p.m. Free.

The Maccabeats—Jewish a cappella group performs secular and religious Jewish, American and Israeli songs. At Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 4-5 p.m. Also 6:30-7:30 p.m. $35 adults, $20 kids and students.

Thursday, December 7

Hanukkah Night: Latkes and Klezmer—First-night celebration with live music from Jason Ditzian, Lila Sklar and Dan Cantrell plus vegan dinner featuring latkes with yuzu applesauce, borscht, corned tempeh with homemade rye bread and cranberry-yuzu chocolate cake. At 1131 24th St., Oakland. 7-10 p.m. $100, registration required.

Saturday, December 9

Hanukkah Mitzvah Celebration—Holiday event for families with babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their older siblings to complete a mitzvah project. With concert by Melita Silberstein and dinner. At Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton. 4-6:30 p.m. Free, registration required.

Sunday, December 10

Danville Hanukkah Celebration—Community holiday celebration. At Beth Chaim Congregation, 1800 Holbrook Drive, Danville. 3 p.m. Free, RSVP by Dec. 8.

Hanukkah Celebration—Tri-Valley Cultural Jews presents holiday event with crafts, games and singing. Bring latke topping or dish to share. Location provided with registration. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $15, members free. RSVP by Dec. 8.

Chochmat HaLev Community Hanukkah Party—Holiday party with music, dancing, crafts, dreidel and latkes. Bring menorah and candles plus side dish, dessert or drink to share. At Chochmat HaLev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Individual $15, $20 couples/families $20, members free.

Wednesday, December 13

Afikomen Hanukkah Party—Holiday event with menorah lighting, music, sufganiyot, drinks and prizes. With Ben Kramarz and SingJam. At Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. 3-5 p.m. Free.

Thursday, December 14

Hanukkah on Ice—Holiday event with ice skating, Jewish music, giant menorah and kosher food. Presented by Chabad of Contra Costa. At Civic Park Ice Rink, 1365 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. 7:30 p.m. $20 advance, $22 door.

Hanukkah Community Celebration—Congregation Netivot Shalom presents dance party and spelling bee with music, candle lighting and storytelling. Performance by Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band, Gerry Tenney, Achi Ben Shalom, Ariel Luckey, members of the Kehilla Klezmer Band and others. At Congregation Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley. 7 p.m. $20, kids free.

North Bay

Monday, December 4

Resin and Rose—Pre-Hanukkah floral resin menorah making and women’s social. At Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma, 205 Keller St., No. 101, Petaluma. 6:30 p.m. $45.

Sunday, December 3

Menorah Workshop—Hands-on workshop for kids to build and paint their own wood menorahs. With music and refreshments. Parental supervision required. Presented by Chabad of Petaluma. At Wilco, North McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. 10:30 a.m. Free, RSVP required.

Hanukkah Gift Bag Assembly—Volunteer opportunity to assemble gift bags of holiday food and handwritten cards for the Jewish Family and Children’s Services “Seniors at Home” community. At JFCS-Marin, 600 Fifth Ave., San Rafael. 1-3:30 p.m. Free, registration required.

Hanukkah Legoland—Chabad of Napa Valley presents holiday event with Hanukkah games, activities, team competitions, dreidel, glow in the dark Lego doughnuts, “Mystery Maccabee Quest” adventure, crafts, menorah lighting and sing-along. With dinner. At Chabad of Napa Valley, 2025 Redwood Road, Suite 7, Napa. 4 p.m. RSVP to [email protected]

Thursday, December 7

Hanukkah Musicians’ Song Share—Congregation Beth Ami presents song circle for Jewish musicians from Sonoma County. With guest singer-songwriter, educator and cantorial soloist Beth Hamon. At Congregation Beth Ami, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 7:30 p.m. Free, RSVP required. Call Elizabeth: 707-360-3000.

Community Latke Cook-off—“MasterChef”-style community latke cook-off and adult social. At Chabad of Novato, 695 De Long Ave., Novato. 7 p.m. Free.

Friday, December 8

Hanukkah Kickoff—Congregation Beth Shalom presents Shabbat services and dairy holiday dinner. Bring menorah and candles. At Congregation Beth Shalom, 1455 Elm St., Napa. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free, RSVP by Dec. 7.

Rabbi Dovid Bush of Chabad of Petaluma lights the menorah at a Hanukkah drive-through event on Dec. 13, which drew lines of cars and over 650 people. (Photo/Courtesy Bush)
Rabbi Dovid Bush of Chabad of Petaluma lights the menorah at a Hanukkah drive-through event that drew lines of cars and hundreds of people on Dec. 13, 2021. (Photo/Courtesy Bush)

Saturday, December 9

Hanukkah Havdalah—Latke dinner. At Congregation Beth Ami, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 7 p.m. $20 advance, $25 door.

Havdallah Hanukkah Concert—Congregation Beth Ami presents holiday concert with guest singer-songwriter, educator and cantorial soloist Beth Hamon. At Congregation Beth Ami, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 7 p.m. $20 advance, $25 door.

Sunday, December 10

Hanukkah Sing-along and Cafe—Holiday concert and gift shop. Items include applesauce, Shabbat candles, Hanukkah candles, books, bracelets, Hanukkah cards, bagels, latkes, desserts and beverages. At Congregation Beth Shalom, 1455 Elm St., Napa. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. $2-$18.

Thursday, December 14

Latke Throwdown—Annual latke-judging event where guests taste contenders’ creations. With holiday mocktails, regular latkes and donation drive for ParentsCAN. Presented by Congregation Beth Shalom. At Bardessono Hotel and Spa, 6526 Yount St., Yountville. 5-7 p.m. $20, proceeds benefit Napa nonprofit ParentsCAN.

South Bay / Peninsula

Thursday, November 30

Resin and Rose—Pre-Hanukkah floral resin menorah making and women’s social. At Chabad Center For Jewish Life, 2219 Juan Pablo Lane, Santa Cruz. 6 p.m. $36.

Sunday, December 3

Menorahs and Miracles—Hanukkah festivities, traditional holiday treats and performances in Hebrew, Russian, Ladino and English. Presented by Jewish Silicon Valley. At Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, 180 Woz Way, San Jose. 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Hanukkah Party with Isaac Zones—Wornick Jewish Day School presents holiday concert and crafts for ages 3-5 and their families. Register by Nov. 30. Co-sponsored by PJ Library. At The Reading Bug, 785 Laurel St., San Carlos. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Free, registration required.

Family Cooking: Doughnuts for Hanukkah—Hands-on cooking class for parents and kids to bake holiday treats. With Michelle Greenebaum from Together in the Kitchen. At Oshman Family JCC, Room D-117, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 4-5 p.m. $40.

Festival of Lights Hanukkah Party—Jewish Baby Network and Congregation Beth Am present holiday event for families with kids 5 and under. With menorah lighting, Hanukkah-themed snacks and crafts. Bring menorah, candles, grandparents, extended family and friends. At Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. 3:30-5 p.m. Free.

Hausner Hanukkah Party and School Tour—Tour of campus and classrooms followed by school holiday party with music, food and festivities. At Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, 490 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto. 2-5 p.m. Free.

Friday, December 8

Generations Day and Hanukkah Celebration—Tour of campus and classrooms followed by school holiday party with performances. At Yavneh Day School, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. 1-4 p.m.

Lea Loeb
(Photo/Aaron Levy-Wolins)
Lea Loeb

Lea Loeb is engagement reporter at J. She previously served as editorial assistant.