Loyola University Chicago

Modern Languages and Literatures


Chanukkah Karaoke Party

Chanukkah Karaoke Party

With the support of the LLRC and the Hebrew Studies Program - the Loyola-Israel Student Alliance (LISA) "Chanukkah Karaoke Party" on December 1 was a celebration of Chanukkah and Hebrew! 

Chanukkah is the 8-day Jewish Winter Holiday known as the Festival of Lights.  In ancient times, the Temple in Jerusalem needed to be rededicated by lighting the Menorah - the seven-branched candelabra that brought light into the Temple.  However, there was only enough holy olive oil found for one day's light, and the Chanukkah Miracle of Lights was that the Menorah stayed lit for eight days until new holy oil could be brought to Jerusalem.  

The Chanukkah Menorah has 8 lights, like the one in the picture above, and starting with one light on the right, each night of Chanukkah an additional candle is added.  Chanukkah is the Hebrew word meaning "dedication" as for a home or a temple.
Since this is a holiday celebrating the miracle of oil lasting 8 days instead of one, the traditional Chanukkah food for the week is actually food fried in oil!  The most traditional food are potato pancakes served with sour cream and /or applesauce.  In Israel, the traditional dessert is deep fried doughnuts called soufganyiot.  At our party - Dunkin Donut Munchkins at the far end of the table were the substitute dessert!
The traditional Chanukkah game is spinning a replica of an ancient four-sided top called a dreidel.  On each of the 4 sides are Hebrew letters that stand for the phrase - A great miracle happened there.  This is a betting game, with each of the letters representing whether you have to add coins or take them.  So, when you have dreidels, there are also chocolate coins wrapped in silver or gold, representing the coins used in ancient times to make bets.
The "Chanukkah Karaoke Party" was sponsored by the LLRC, the Hebrew Studies Program, and the Loyola-Israel Student Alliance (LISA), and one of the activities was to sing along with Hebrew Music Videos from Israel and elsewhere. including Chanukkah music videos.  In many of the music videos the Hebrew was translated or transliterated.
Traditional Chanukkah activities include Chanukkah Cookie Decorating and Chanukkah Candle Making - both of which took place at the "Chanukkah Karaoke Party!"