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THE JEWISH MUSEUM OFFERS A NEW ONLINE GUIDE TO HANUKKAH 2009Share

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contacts: Anne Scher/Alex Wittenberg, 212.423.3271, pressoffice@thejm.org

THE JEWISH MUSEUM OFFERS
A NEW ONLINE GUIDE TO HANUKKAH 2009


GUIDE PROVIDES NEW ONLINE HOLIDAY RESOURCES AND ACTIVITIES PLUS INFORMATION ON PROGRAMS AND EVENTS AT THE MUSEUM


NEW YORK, NY – This holiday season The Jewish Museum is offering a new guide to Hanukkah on its website, www.thejewishmuseum.org/Hanukkah2009.

Visitors to the recently redesigned website can browse through the Museum’s online collection of 300 Hanukkah lamps, obtain information on holiday events and programs at the Museum, learn about Hanukkah from the educator resource and fun holiday family feature, shop for Hanukkah gifts, give a gift of a Jewish Museum membership, and more.


Hanukkah Lamps on the Website

The Jewish Museum holds the most significant collection of Jewish ceremonial art in the Western Hemisphere, including the world’s largest and finest collection of Hanukkah lamps. The website now offers images and information about 300 Hanukkah lamps and related objects from all over the world. Examples of the two traditional forms of Hanukkah lamps - the menorah consisting of eight branches reaching upward from a central stem; and the bench lamp, a row of eight lights arranged horizontally with an attached backplate - are included along with unusual contemporary lamps. Rabbinical requirements have posed only a few restrictions on the form of the Hanukkah lamp, with none on the manner of its decoration. This has allowed craftsmen great artistic freedom, often producing fantastical designs and shapes.


Hanukkah Lamps on View at the Museum

At The Jewish Museum, over 50 Hanukkah lamps are on view in the permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, and several in Reinventing Ritual: Contemporary Art and Design for Jewish Life.

In addition, especially for Hanukkah, The Jewish Museum is putting up a joyous and monumental Hanukkah lamp, Miracle, by the contemporary artist Lyn Godley that captures the essence of kindling the holiday lights. The work measures about 11 feet long by 6 ½ feet high. In Godley’s interpretation, nine different sources of lights are used in a cumulative fashion. The number of light sources increases each night so that on the last day of the holiday all nine types of illumination are blazing. The Godley Hanukkah lamp will be on view from December 11, 2009 through January 12, 2010.


Special Holiday Tours

Visitors to the website Hanukkah guide can learn about Hanukkah themed tours of the permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, in conjunction with the temporary show, Reinventing Ritual, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:15 pm, now through December 24th. The permanent exhibition contains a display of over 50 Hanukkah lamps from the Museum’s renowned collection.


Family Hanukkah Party

This annual fundraiser on Tuesday, December 15 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm delights grandparents, parents, and children up to age 10. Arts and crafts, the music of Laughing Pizza, magic with Magic-Al Garber, and more are offered. Tickets are required: $150 for adults and $75 for children.


Educator Resource

Educators can develop classroom lessons about Hanukkah with a holiday online curriculum guide developed to supplement classroom learning. The guide offers questions for discussion, resource links, and a variety of activities.


Fun Holiday Family Feature

This new feature allows the viewer to take a closer look at one of the Museum’s Hanukkah lamps, light a digital menorah, or create their own Hanukkah lamp sculpture.


Hanukkah

The festival of Hanukkah commemorates an ancient victory for religious freedom-the liberation and reestablishment of Jewish worship in the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. According to legend, a miracle occurred as the Jews gave thanks for divine intervention. A one-day supply of consecrated oil necessary for worship burned for the entire eight-day celebration. One of the most popular and beloved Jewish ceremonial objects, the Hanukkah lamp has evolved over the centuries for the ceremonial kindling of lights during the eight nights of Hanukkah. The Jewish Museum’s collection of Hanukkah lamps reflects the multitude of places where Jews have lived and flourished, as they represent local styles and motifs. Each lamp speaks to a complex interaction of historical events, Jewish law, artistic expression, and personal experience. Today, the celebration of Hanukkah as a time of freedom and miracles and the tradition of kindling the festival lights on a winter’s evening continues to have profound meaning around the world. This year Hanukkah begins at sundown on Friday, December 11th.

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12/11/09

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