Jewish students celebrated the upcoming Jewish holiday,
Hanukkah, Thursday night in the basement of Lory Apartments
The eight-day holiday itself doesn’t begin until sunset on
Friday, but the Hillel-sponsored party gave students a chance to
take a break before finals week and spend time together. Food,
games and fellowship were all found at the party.
Hillel President Rachel Raizen is frustrated, however, about the
way Hanukkah is portrayed.
“It is totally a minor holiday,” she said. “It is totally
commercialized just because it is close to Christmas. Everyone
thinks it is such a major holiday, but it is not.”
Hillel celebrates the major Jewish holidays as well, including
Yom Kippur and Sukkot, said Hedy Berman, director of Hillel. These
holidays are considered more important by Jewish people.
Hanukkah is about number seven on the list of major Jewish
holidays, said Kayla Brummett, Hillel’s social committee chair. She
was expecting about 40 people to attend the party, and it looked
like she was pretty close. Brummett’s committee of five spent a
month planning the party.
Last year’s party was at the Congregation Har Shalom synagogue,
725 W. Drake Road.
“We had it here this year to make it a little different,”
This year, the party featured games of dreidel, cards that were
to be signed and taken to hospitalized children in Israel, sheets
of music, including Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song” and customary
Hanukkah, which is also called the Festival of the Lights,
starts on the 25th day of Kislev, the third month of the Jewish
The holiday celebrates the rededication of the Jewish temple to
the Jewish God, after being defiled by the Syrian ruler Antiochus
the Fourth in 168 BCE, according to the 1996 Encarta
After the rededication of the Temple, an eternal candle was
relit, but only with oil for one day. The oil lasted eight
For this reason, oil is found in many of the holiday’s customs.
Traditional customs include eating fried food, lighting candles and
“The whole gift-giving thing is only in America,” Raizen said.
“In Israel they wouldn’t do that.”
Last year, Hillel also lit a giant menorah on the Lory Student
Center Plaza. Since school is not in session, they chose not to
light the menorah.
“I don’t want to fall off the ladder again either,” Raizen