Hanukkah is as special as you make it and Jewish families will have plenty of options to make this year very special indeed. Most public events center around the lighting of candles and eating oil-cooked foods, of course, but that is just the beginning. Enjoying the company of family and friends during prayer and while eating is always the best way to celebrate.
Menorah Lighting at Decatur Square
101 E. Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030
Date: Dec. 17, 2014 at 6 p.m.
This public event is perhaps the premier outdoor celebration of Hanukkah in Atlanta. Families will have the opportunity to decorate and eat donuts. There will also be hot drinks and latkes to enjoy. There will be a raffle for prizes and a life-sized anthropomorphous dreidel, appropriately named “Mr. Dreidel,” to meet and have your pictures taken with. The whole thing is free, but if you remember to RSVP, you can also expect a special gift.
Menorah Lighting in Virginia Highlands
1017 North Highland Ave
Atlanta, GA 30306
Date: Dec. 21, 2014
Similar to the Grand Menorah Lighting & Chanukah Celebration listed above, this location will also enjoy latkes and drinks, photo opportunities with Mr. Dreidel, raffles and gifts. Likewise, donuts and fun will be had by all. This mid-holiday celebration is similarly programmed because it is also hosted by the same organization: Chabad In Town. The organization explains, “The word ‘Chabad’ is a Hebrew acronym for the three intellectual faculties of chochmah – wisdom, binah – comprehension and da’at – knowledge.” Chabad In Town’s event programming is designed to bring Jewish philosophy to life for the Atlanta community.
OVS Hanukkah Bazaar
Or VeShalom Synagogue
1681 N. Druid Hills Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
Date: Dec. 7, 2014
Hundreds of shoppers make this annual pre-Hanukkah event an Atlanta tradition. Authentic food from the Mediterranean will please the adults while kids enjoy games and a moonwalk. The real attraction, however, are the many colorful tables filled with crafts, books and jewelry perfect for upcoming Hanukkah gifts. The anticipation of both giving and getting gifts is a special part of Hanukkah in America and in this way the OVS Bazaar is great way to start this year’s celebration. Related: Best Unique Movie Theater Experiences In Atlanta
Candle Lighting At Temple Kol Emeth
1415 Old Canton Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
Date: Each day of Hanukkah at 7 p.m (Dec. 19 at 7:45 p.m.)
Locals will recognize this temple as a lively and active member of the community. People of all creeds have been welcomed to experience the culture of Judaism though its annual Nibble and Noshfest and holiday sales which show off delicious food and goods such as jewelry, respectively. Of course, prayer is the centerpiece of Kol Emeth so it is only natural for the Jewish Community of Cobb County to come home for this lighting of the Hanukkah candles. For each day of Hanukkah, service will be held from 7 p.m to 7:30 p.m. with the sole exception of Friday, December 19, which commences at 7:45 p.m. instead.
Home Depot Hanukkah Workshop
650 Ponce de Leon Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30308
Date: Dec. 14, 2014
The Home Depot Hanukkah Workshop is all about the kids. Children will get to build their own menorah in their very own worker’s apron. They also get to meet Mr. Dreidel while eating fresh latkes and donuts. So much of Hanukkah is a celebrated privately with family at home or at temple, but this is a rare opportunity to celebrate Jewish faith in a non-traditional setting. This workshop sold out of space last year, so be sure to RSVP as soon as possible.
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With a BFA in Digital Media, Sean Mills has worked for design firms with clients across the United States. He has worked as an illustrator and visual designer, and has shown paintings in juried exhibitions. He currently works as a studio artist and writer in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found at Examiner.com.