10 Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah in Philly

Menorah lightings, dance parties, the Moo Shu Jew Show and more ways to enjoy the Festival of Lights.

See comedians Julie Goldman, Josh Gondelman and Avi Liberman at the eighth annual Moo Shu Jew Show. Photo provided

Eat Chinese food and laugh with comedians Julie Goldman, Josh Gondelman and Avi Liberman at the eighth annual Moo Shu Jew Show. Photo provided

Cocktails and Candles | Thursday, December 22
The Young Friends of the National Museum of American Jewish History (101 South Independence Mall East) are throwing a pre-Hanukkah party, with cocktails and “Hanukkah-inspired hors d’oeuvres” (my bet is on latkes), plus a silent auction and a raffle.

Hanukkah Celebration | Friday, December 23
The ongoing Holiday Festival at Franklin Square (6th and Race Streets) includes a new Hanukkah celebration this year, with themed games and crafts. It’s free.

Festival of Lights | Friday, December 23
The always-lively West Philadelphia Orchestra will be playing klezmer beats at this week’s Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Ben Franklin Parkway). The concert, presented by Temple University’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, is included with museum admission.

The Moo Shu Jew Show| Saturday, December 24
The Gershman Y is adding standup to the time-honored tradition of Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve — which is also the first night of Hanukkah. Comedians Julie Goldman, Avi Liberman and Josh Gondelman, who’s a writer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, will perform for the crowd at Ocean Harbor (1023 Race Street) in Chinatown, while the restaurant serves up a (non-kosher) feast. Comedian Cory Kahaney is co-producing the show with the Y. 

Klezmukah! | Saturday, December 24
This Hanukkah bash at the Germantown Jewish Centre (400 West Ellet Street) starts with a latke dinner, followed by a menorah lighting and holiday sing-a-long. And then the dance party starts, with music from the Ken Ulansey Band and “dance master” Steve Weintraub. You can also buy tickets for just the dance party part.

Matzoball | Saturday, December 24
Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah meeting your bashert. This multi-city Christmas Eve bash for Jewish singles, started by a guy who wound up meeting his future wife at a Matzoball, is in its 30th year. The party is at Rumor (1500 Sansom Street) and geared towards 20-somethings.

Being ___ at Christmas | Sunday, December 25
Bring the family to the National Museum of American Jewish History for live music from Alex & the Kaleidoscope, dancing, games, storytime, crafts with the Clay Studio, and kosher food from the Magical Sweet Shop. Your ticket includes admission to the museum, plus access to the Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution special exhibit.

Latkes and Lo Mein at the Lanes | Tuesday, December 27
The Jewish National Fund is hosting a Hanukkah bowling party at Pep Bowl (1200 South Broad Street), with Chinese food, of course. It’s for young professionals and young families, in their 20s and 30s, and JNFuture members get a discount.

Menorah Lighting | Tuesday, December 27
Head to Rittenhouse Square for the annual menorah lighting ceremony, with music and refreshments, hosted by B’nai Abraham. If you have any spare winter gear, like coats or gloves, bring it along — the congregation will be collecting for charity at the event.

Hanukkah Celebration | Thursday, December 29
The West Philadelphia Orchestra is in high demand this holiday season. They’ll be playing the Hanukkah celebration at the Please Touch Museum (4231 Avenue of the Republic), which is included with museum admission.

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