Tag Archives: chanukiyah

Hands-on Menorah Quiz (for School, Carnival)


Gelt just for playing, Prize Draw for big winner later

The word “quiz” is instant Carnival buzzkill, ain’t it?  Hardly the sort of catchy title to entice kids to a Chanukah Carnival station.  But really, it is a quiz, my activity, not a game.  And if it’s facilitated in the right spirit, it will be fun.  And educational.  And memorable.  I promise.

The goal is not to be the Kosher Police, nor to shame a child who last week crafted an exquisite chanukiyah that, according to this quiz, is not “kosher,” nor to cast aspersions upon Bubbe’s electric menorah Continue reading

“Oil Crush” synagogue program: Make Oil like a Maccabee


Olive Crushing Installation

This year, instead of a Chanukah carnival, I envisioned something new, or rather, something very, very old.  Our synagogue Religious School held a Chanukah “Oil Crush” program.  In a nutshell, we made olive oil—shemen zayit—just like the Maccabees, with a commissioned replica of a Hellenistic-era olive crushing installation: crushing wheel, pivot pole (power shaft) and crushing basin.  Students from Pre-K to 7th grade took turns pushing the pole to rotate the crushing wheel over fresh olives straight from the tree (ordered from California).  Continue reading

Swim Noodle Menorah

Swim Noodle Menorah

The Swim Noodle Menorah.  Google all you want, but it won’t be there unless it’s here, because I’ve just invented it.  I am ridiculously pleased.  It signals my complete recovery from a summer illness that left no room for aggressively thematic, Jewy frivolity.

Foam flames in a foam candle in a foam candleholder

My goal was to make a practice menorah irresistible to young children.  Everybody likes swim noodles, don’t they?  Swim noodle candles are fun to hold,  are big, lightweight, and easy to slide in and out of foam drink-holders. Foam-against-foam friction is far more satisfying than, say, foam against cardboard tubes or metal cans.  The craft foam flames are easy for little hands to poke into Continue reading