Retrieve your login details

Enter your email address below and we'll send you an email with a link reset your password



You need to have an account and be logged in to be able to add and manage your list of favourites. or create an account

You haven’t viewed any of our resources yet. To start exploring them now please see our full listing here


Length - 05:43
Published - Nov 2010
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

A film about Hanukkah which shows how Jewish families celebrate the festival together and the symbolism behind it.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:


Component 2 - The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Judaism - Family life and festivals - Festivals and their importance for Jews in Great Britain today, including the origins and meaning of Pesach.


Not required for exam board


Component Group 1 - Judaism - Practices- Rituals • The meaning and importance of rites of passage • The form and meaning of Jewish birth ceremonies including: •• The welcoming of a baby girl •• The connection between Brit Milah and the covenant with Abraham •• The circumcision •• The roles of the father •• Mohel and Sandek •• The importance of birth rituals for the community • The form and meaning of Bar/Bat Mitzvah including: •• The preparation •• The nature of the service •• Subsequent preparations •• The meaning and nature of Bat Chayil The meaning and importance of burial rites including: •• The nature of burial •• The tearing of clothes •• The Kaddish Dietary laws • The origin and nature of dietary laws •The mitzvotand traditions regarding the slaughter and consumption of animals •The mitzvot and traditions regarding the consumption of poultry,fish,fruit and vegetables •The mitzvot and traditions regarding the consumption of meat and milk together • The importance and impact of dietary laws on Jewish lifestyle • The meaning of the terms Kosher and Terefah • Issues related to the dietary laws, including pikuach nefesh and breaking the laws of kashrut • Common and divergent emphases placed on the dietary laws by different Jewish groups,including the preparation of food by non-Jews Festivals • The origins and importance of Rosh Hashanah, including Teshuva, the Shofar, symbolic foods, the synagogue service and Tashlich • The origins and importance of Yom Kippur, including the connection to Rosh Hashanah,the Book of Life, Kapparah, the rules of Yom Kippur, the importance and nature of fasting, the synagogue services and Neilah •The origins and importance of the Pilgrim Festivals, including the story of the Exodus, the importance of chametz and the Seder meal • The origins and importance of Sukkot, inlcuding the building of sukkah and the four species • The origins and importance of Hanukkah • The origins and importance of Pesach


2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Judaism - Core beliefs, teachings and practices -Practices -Jewish identity - Festivals and commemorations: Yom Hashoah, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach; significance, preparation and celebration of these festivals (Exodus 12:14)


No links to exam board


Woman   And Hanukkah actually means dedication. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, and Jews all around the world celebrate Hanukkah to remember an amazing miracle that happened 2000 years ago. When the Syrian Greek Army had trashed the Jewish temple and didn't want Jews to practice their religion, and when the Jews got back into their temple, they found a tiny bit of oil, and they thought it would last for a day, but when they put the oil in their oil lamp, the menorah, it lasted for eight days, giving them time to find more oil and keep the lights burning to celebrate God's light, so that was a miracle. And the other miracle was that the Jews beat the Syrian Greek army, who were trying to stop them practising their religion. So it's basically a time to remember that we've got religious freedom.

Woman   What we do at Hanukkah is we have our menorah, which represents the oil lamp that was in the temple in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. The rules are, and sometimes they get a bit muddled up. You put the candles in right to left, so when I put these candles in, I put them in right to left. But when you light them, you light left to right. You have to light the shamash first, you light the shamash, then you say the brachot, which are the prayers, and then you light the candles left to right. Every night you light one. The second night you like two until you've got all eight candles. And the shamash, the helper, burning. Because it's the festival of lights. Shel Hanukah, happy Hanukkah, everybody. We tend to light the candles when the first stars come out at night. We always like the first candle. On the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, whether or not it's November or December, it's the same every year in the Hebrew calendar. Often what people do, my family does this as well, is when we've got the menorah lit with the candles, we put it in our window so that the whole neighbourhood can can share in our joy and the festival of lights.

Woman   Everybody can see our festival of light. There we are. Isn't that lovely?

Woman   Hanukkah is a time of happy memories, it's remembering the fact that we won our freedom, we invite family and friends around, we play games. It's a time of year where we also give things to other people, we give things to charity, and we also give each other presents as well, to show gratitude and appreciation of life.

Woman   Let's flip it over. These latkes are cooking. We only want them to go for 2.5 minutes on each side, and we have lots of fried food and we have latkes, which is potato sort of pancakes that we fry, and we have doughnuts full of jelly or jam, and that's one because it's a sweet occasion, and secondly, because the oil that we fry, the latkes, the potato pancakes, and the doughnuts in reminds us of the oil that burnt in the temple in the miracle where it lasted all those days.

Boy          Dreidel.

Woman   Oh, let's do the dreidel song.

Boy          Wait. Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay. Uh.

Woman   Children play quite a big role in Hanukkah, um, because in the, 2000 years ago, when the Syrian Greeks tried to stop us practising our religion, and they actually said that Jews would be arrested and killed if they practised their religion. What the parents did was they would send their children off to the forest with Jewish text to learn, and one Jewish child would be on the lookout, and if they saw the Syrian Greek soldiers approaching, they would put the religious texts behind them and get out this thing called a dreidel, which was a spinning top, and say, um, just playing here, soldiers, there's nothing wrong. So children played quite a big role in trying to keep the religion going, so what happens at Hanukkah is that a lot of it is based around children because we give them presents, or you can give them what we call Hanukkah gelt. Gelt is an old Yiddish word meaning money. Very often we give them little gold chocolate coins. We play game with them, and they love eating them.

Boy          It was a-

Woman   What we do with the dreidel, which is the spinning top, that is very representative and symbolic of Hanukkah, is that it has four letters on it Shin, Hei, Gimel, and nun, and what that means is, a great miracle happened here. We spin it, and depending on what letter it lands on, you either get a little bit more Hanukkah gelt, chocolate coins, or you have to put some of your Hanukkah gelt in the middle, so the object of the game is to try and get as much Hanukkah gelt for yourself as you possibly can.

Woman   Good speed, good spin.

Woman   It is very important for Jewish parents, and we're told this over and over again is to pass these stories, these traditions, onto our children.

Woman   Oh, you're right, it's nun.

Woman   What's really lovely and also awesome about the Jewish religion is it's so old. Jews have been doing this for 2000 years, so I'm very aware when I celebrate festivals like Hanukkah, of the weight of tradition and history behind me, it's a bit like carrying the Olympic torch, you know, I'm still doing it and passing it on to my kids 2000 years later.

Woman   Hanukkah is all about remembrance. It's a time for the Jewish people to remember how good it is to be free, to remember the miracles and to remember that God was looking after us, but what it really symbolises for me is religious freedom and the importance of everybody to be able to practice their religion, whoever they are, whatever their religion is. So, it does make me think about other people around the world who maybe can't celebrate their religion or who are living under oppression, and you think it is, you know, a gift that we can't take for granted to be able to practice our religion and do what you believe in.