Chanukah Celebrations at JCC Krakow

The JCC had a fun filled week celebrating Chaunkah! The Jewish and local community participated in Chanukah workshops, menorah lighting, sufganyiot eating, dancing, and so much more! See our festive week below!


Chanukah week kicked off with our Sunday school who learned about the story of Chanukah from Rabbi Avi! He brought with him Chanukiot, songbooks, and dreidels. The kids all received fun notebooks to write about their Chanukah experiences and acts of kindness. 



The first dinner of Chanukah was celebrated with over 100 JCC Krakow members of all ages. They gathered to light the first Chanukah candle and shared a delicious meal featuring latkes and sufganiyot.



On the second night of Chanukah, Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich joined the community to light the candles. His Chanukah visits have already become an annual tradition! ‪


For the third night of Chanukah, Szeroka Street, the historic center of Krakow’s Jewish District, was lit up by the menorah in front of Krakow's Old Synagogue. Rabbi Eliezer Gurary and Rabbi Avi Baumol were joined by the community in celebration and discussion about the holiday.



Afterwards the community went to the local ice skating rink and celebrated Chanukah on ice!


Every year, the President of Poland lights a menorah with members of Poland's Jewish community at the Presidential Palace. This year Rabbi Avi attended the event and met with President Andrzej Duda. As a Chanukah gift, Rabbi Avi gave him the first copy our Children of the Holocaust 2016 Calendar. At the JCC we did a candle lighting ceremony and calendar release party with our Holocaust survivors. It was a moving celebration as the survivors spoke about what the JCC meant to them and how it reconnected them to Judaism. 


On the fifth night of Chanukah we had over 200 people join us at the JCC to light our menorah with Rabbi Avi and participate in several of our CHANUKrAkow workshops! CHANUKrAkow is our annual Chanukah celebration that is one night of multiple fun events open to our members and the Krakow community. Our choir sang Chanukah songs, Rabbi Avi led a lecture about Chanukah, we showed a film and had a panel discussion featuring Rabbi Gurary, Kasia and Hadley led a workshop on making and frying sufganyiot, Max taught participants how to make different types of candles, and our Jewish Student Club GIMEL President Mateusz and volunteer Magda played dreidel and colored paper menorahs with children from the community. 

On Saturday night, JCC hosted a PunkNuka party where our community members dressed up with mohawks, piercings, dyed hair, and leather jackets! We partied on the dance floor listening to The Ramones and a punk version of Hava Nagila.