8 Nights. 8 Ideas. A lifetime of memories.
For many, Hanukkah is considered a nice little holiday — fine while the kids are young, but nothing like Passover, Yom Kippur or (gulp) Christmas.
But what if Hanukkah were an occasion to share a rich, evocative set of values — one for each night? What if, as you lit the candles, you could create conversations that resonated for a lifetime? What if Hanukkah actually related to our modern life?
A Festival of Light: The Meaning of Hanukkah
A Festival of Light is a 144-page pictorial coffee table book that celebrates Hanukkah and eight core human values - Faith, Freedom, Courage, Love, Charity, Integrity, Knowledge and Peace. We tell our story with beautiful photography, contemporary and iconic quotations, wide-ranging musical playlists, delicious recipes, personal reflections and, at its core, a series of essays written by American Playwright Dore Schary — one for each night, one for each value it represents.
8 Simple Words.
In these divisive times, it often seems that our basic human values get shortchanged in search of the next “like.” But these eight simple words do have real meaning. They can shape a young person’s character and can affect the way we interact with our family, our community, our world.
Think of those eight words again. Speak them out loud. Feel their power.
“Very moving, very contemporary and very NMAJH-appropriate.”
— Kristen Kreider, Director of Retail Operations,
National Museum of American Jewish History
What's in the book?
The Essays & Home Service
Dore Schary wrote eight essays for the Hanukkah Home Service. These remain the heart of our book: a celebration of the best of human values and an opportunity for families to reflect, and to begin a conversation on the qualities needed to cope with the challenges our modern world offers.
We've curated more than 70 quotes, lyrics, and poems from contemporary and iconic cultural thought leaders to help create conversations with a younger generation about the meaning of these crucial human values.
As allegory, the story of the Maccabees and the miracle of the everlasting holy oil is pretty inspiring. But for contemporary audiences raised on Google searches, we felt a bit more historical context would be a valuable supplement.
We solicited more than twenty unique and beautifully crafted menorahs from friends and family. Then we invited award-winning Los Angeles-based photographer Joel Lipton to stage and shoot them over three days. Memories and magic were the result.
Dore’s parents ran Schary Manor, the preeminent Jewish catering establishment in Newark, NJ, in the 1920’s. For the first time, we’re sharing some of the original recipes that made our great-grandmother famous.
Because each word can be interpreted so differently — freedom from war, freedom from intolerance, freedom to simply get in your car and go — we thought it would be insightful (and fun) to explore the many facets of each night’s theme both visually and sonically; with our photography and musical playlists.
“This book celebrates, in a most thoughtful and beautiful presentation, the spirit and values that the Skirball Cultural Center explores during Hanukkah — and all year round.”
— Susan Van De Vyvere & Barbara Lang
Book Buyers, Skirball Cultural Center
Our readers say...Get your copy
“I just opened the book...
and it is absolutely fabulous. So elegant and rich with profound ideas. The whole presentation is magnificent, and I love having the service booklet in the back pocket as a bonus; an excellent idea.”
Manhattan Beach, CA
"Thanks so much...
It’s beautiful. We want to order a few more as gifts.”
Stephen & Hilary Fahlsing,
"We just received the book...
It’s very cool and designed so well: the quotes, the stories, the recipes. What a rich celebration.”
Michael & Rashke Catlin
About the authors
Paul SmallFind out more
Paul is a real estate agent, student of values and lover of great music.
Josh FreemanFind out more
Josh is a designer, creative director and occasional podcaster.
Dore ScharyFind out more
Our great-uncle Dore was the only writer ever to head a major Hollywood studio.