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18Doors’ Guide to Hanukkah

This guide to Hanukkah will teach you about the holiday and its traditions. You will learn how to approach it as an interfaith couple, and how to navigate questions that may arise.

Hanukkah, a beloved winter festival also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates both a military victory and a miracle. Though perhaps best known for its proximity to Christmas, this minor Jewish holiday has its own joyous ways to celebrate. For many of us in interfaith families, it presents an opportunity to share Jewish traditions around the winter holiday season. Whether you’re celebrating for the first time or the 40th time, Hanukkah doesn’t disappoint with its lights, gifts, and delicious foods.

At 18Doors, we recognize that there are many different variations of religious identities within households. Many of the issues that arise during this holiday season center around Hanukkah and Christmas. However, some families are also observing holidays, such as the solstice and Kwanzaa. This guide is here to help you and your loved ones understand the story and celebration of Hanukkah. It is important that you have the tools to integrate Hanukkah into your family’s life this winter. These resources will help you navigate around the challenges of celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas in an interfaith family.

Click on the links below to explore the different topics in this Hanukkah guide.

1. What is Hanukkah?

2. Hanukkah Symbols and Traditions

3. Hanukkah Food

4. Hanukkah, Christmas and Your Interfaith Family

5. December Holiday Decision-Making Means Compromise

6. The Holidays Don’t Always Go According to Plan


18Doors is here to support interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship provides offerings for couples in cities nationwide. If you have questions, please contact


Author: 18Doors