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The eight days of Hanukkah (Channukah)

Our next holiday is Hanukkah ... There are special foods for Hanukkah, there are the potato pancakes and the jelly doughnuts. You can eat the jelly doughnuts with vanilla sugar and jam. ... On Hanukkah we play a game with dreidels (spinning tops), it's a custom. There are four letters on the four corners of the dreidel. The letters are the shortening of the sentence: A great miracle happened here (Nes gadol haya po), because the history of Hanukkah tells us about the miracle that happened to the Maccabees (165 BCE) that rose up against the Greeks in Israel but this is another story... (Nofar)

We celebrate Hanukkah because of the Holy Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The Greeks destroyed it more than 2000 years ago, and today there is only the Western Wall from this temple. (Michal G)

A small group of brave people called the Maccabees fought the Greeks. In the battle, the temple was badly damaged and when it had been cleaned the priests could not find any pure oil to light the Menorah. ... The Jewish people searched until they found a little oil jug in the temple and they maintained that it would be enough for one day. But the miracle was that it was sufficient for 8 days and that's why we celebrate Hanukkah for 8 days. ... In the 8 days of celebration, we light candles so we don't forget the Menorah and the miracle of Hanukkah. (Dana)

We light 9 candles, and every day we light an additional one. On the first day 2 candles, on the second day 3 candles and more. We light the candles in the Hanukiah (a menorah used for Hanukkah). It is a special lamp. When we light the candles in the Hanukiah we say 3 prayers and the blessings over the candles. (Michal G)

The celebration of Tu Bishvat

The next celebration we will have is Tu Bishvat. In this holiday we eat dried fruits and celebrate with plants and flowers. This is the holiday of the trees and plants and it is a very happy and nice festive day. (Dana)

The celebration of Purim

we masquerade and wear different costumesPurim is coming. This is a holiday that we celebrate. We masquerade and wear different costumes. We send our relatives some gifts and candies. It's called Mishloch-Manot: the giving to others. (Nitzen)

(Purim remembers the story of Esther, a Jewish girl who married King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and became Queen of Persia. Esther is famous for protecting her people from Haman, the king's advisor, who wanted to kill all the Jewish people in the kingdom.)

At Purim we dress up in costumes, last year I dressed as a gift. I made this costume with my mother, I think the best part in Purim is to make the costumes and not to buy them. ... On Purim we eat cookies called "Haman's ears", Haman was the name of one of the persons in the story of Purim. He was the bad man of the story and the villain because he wanted to kill the Jews. ... On Purim we play with noise makers (ra-ashanim) especially when we hear the name of Haman mentioned in readings from the story of Esther (megillah). (Nofar)

During Purim, the kids masquerade and all the people exchange gifts. They give packages or plates with sweets, candies, and of course, the tradition of the holiday, Ozney Haman (Haman's ears) eaten with poppy seeds, jam, nuts and chocolate. ... On Purim, the main tradition is to masquerade. Most of the kids wear costumes of famous personalities. In our school, there is a special day for it. On that day, all the kids arrive with their costumes and exchage goodies with each other and it is a fun day. (Michal A)

Now it is month called Adar. In this month we have Purim. Purim is very nice holiday. Every child loves it. We make costumes. In Purim we have an Adloyada, a very big carnival and all people wear costumes and it is very hard to recognize each other!! We eat Haman's ears, these are cookies with different fillings and we give and get many sweet presents. (Shay. S)

Information about Passover (Pesach)

Passover, an ancient Jewish festival, is the celebration of the delivery of the people from slavery in Egypt. When the Pharaoh refused to let the Jewish people leave Eygpt, God sent a series of plagues. The last was the death of Egyptian first-born sons but the houses of the Israelites were passed over or spared (Pesach). Following this final plague the people were allowed to leave Egypt.

Information about Passover from Nofar

We celebrate the holiday for eight days and have a special meal, the Seder, on the first two nights. We eat symbolic food such as unleavened bread, the matzah (on the flight from Egypt there was not time to let the bread rise), and horseradish (bitter herbs symbolizing the bitterness of slavery in Egypt). .... During the Seder the story of the Exodus from Egypt is told. The story is read from the Haggada.

Passover from the Discussion Board

This holiday has more names: the Spring Holiday, the Freedom Holiday and more - and we get off from school for three weeks! (Roi M.)

matzahPassover is the holiday of renewal. Everything is fresh and spring arrives. People in Israel clean their houses and buy new clothes for the holidays. It is a fun holiday and families spend time together. (Marsha)

I love this holiday because we eat matzot and they are very tasty with chocolate. The matza is like bread but without yeast. (Ofer)

I like Passover very much because I like haroset. It's a very sweet thing made with apples and raisins that represents the walls that the slaves built in Egypt. (Shay)

One way train. Remembrance Day - Discussion Board

Today (18 April) is the Remembrance Day of 6 Million Jews who were murdered by Hitler and his Nazi party. Innocent Jews, Poles, Russians and Gypsies throughout Europe, were sent to concentration camps. Then they went on a train. A one way train, a Train, for their death. On this day, we remember all the victims of The Shoah (The Holocaust). (Saar A)

In the Holocaust the Nazis killed people with poison gas. Steven Spielberg is recording Holocaust survivors to document the truth of the Holocaust so we will never forget. (Alon and Iddan) Spielberg started The Shoah Foundation (www.vhf.org) after filming Schindler's List.

Email from Nofar

I want to tell you about Independence Day; it will be our next holiday. This year, Israel will be 56 years old. I like Independence Day very much because I like the celebrations of this day. Every year, all the people from every city come and celebrate this holiday in their city. All the celebrations are the same thing: the whole city is decorated in white and blue flags. There are famous people that come to sing or to participate in the show. There are colorful fireworks and the best part - the frosty spray. Everybody sprays each other and in the end of this day, the whole city is full of a white spray - the buildings, the cars and even the people are all white!

Email from Dana about Shavuot

Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot), when Jews came to Jerusalem. The first fruits were brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Shavuot is also called Hag Matan Tora that means "the holiday of giving". (It is the time we were given the Torah)

On Shavuot we eat different kinds of cheese dishes, like cheesecake. We have 3 days of no studies. We do a ceremony for the holiday at school, sing songs of the festival (there are a lot of songs) and bless our friends the "happy holiday" blessing.

Email about Bath Mitzva

Bath Mitzva is one of our celebrations. When Jewish girls are 12 years old, they don't celebrate a regular birthday, they celebrate a Bath-Mitza and all of the family and the friends come to the celebration, and the girl has to take responsibility for all of the deeds that she will do. The boys have Bar-Mitzva, and they need to read in the Beit-Cneset (synagogue), a part from the Bible, and they use the Phylacteries (parchment containing religious verses, worn in a case on the arm) at the early hours in the Bar-Mitzva morning. (Michal G)

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