Ask most Jewish children and they'll tell you that Chanukah is their favorite holiday, hands down! After all, nothing tops eight crazy nights of presents, latkes, gelt, and dreidel.
Since Chanukah is all about my kids, if I really want something, I just buy it for myself. After all, no one knows me, better than me! Last year, I bought myself a Chanukah present – a new iPhone. And, since then, its become like an appendage that's attached to my right arm at all times.
This year, using my beloved gift, I found some amazing Chanukah apps. Now, I can spin a virtual dreidel and I know the secret to making mouthwatering potato pancakes (I'll still buy them at Trader Joe's, due to lack of time and cooking ability)! I will share with you some of the best apps I found below (search the title in the App Store or Google Play to download them):
1. Chai on Chanukah
The top-rated Chai on Chanukah (iOS) educational app helps parents teach their kids about the miracle of Chanukah in a fun, interactive way using a swipe-to-spin dreidel, a menorah to light with a tap, games, rhymes, all the relevant blessings, and, of course, the story of Chanukah, complete with an interactive holiday table and orchestral soundtrack.
2. Menorah - Chanukah - חנוכה
The Menorah - Chanukah - חנוכה (Android, iOS) app will instruct you on the number of candles to light each night of Chanukah and in which direction to light. It also has the accompanying prayers and songs in Hebrew, English, and transliterated, as well as in audio form.
3. iGevalt - AR Dreidel
Even if you don't have your own dreidel, you can still give one a spin with the iGevalt - AR Dreidel (iOS) app, an augmented reality dreidel simulator. Just hold your phone or tablet over a flat textured surface to make the dreidel appear and then swipe your finger to spin. Such fun!
Food plays a major role in most Jewish celebrations, and Chanukah is no different. On the holiday, celebrants are encouraged to eat deep-fried foods like potato pancakes and jelly donuts to symbolize the oil that lasted for eight days and dairy dishes to commemorate the heroism of the Maccabees against Syrian oppression. Chowhound (Web) has both traditional kosher recipes and more innovative takes, such as Radicchio, Apple, and Squash Tempura; Chocolate Babka Pie; and a Kale and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata. Chowhound also offers easy brisket recipes (say no more!)
5. Shalomoji - Jewish Emojis
The Shalomoji - Jewish Emojis (iOS) app lets you send Jewish-themed emojis, emoticons, stickers, GIFs, and phrases for Chanukah -- or any Jewish holiday – using your preferred messaging method, with a simple copy and paste.
Hope you enjoy these apps, and have a very Happy Chanukah! Hope you can enjoy some of the holiday with us! Here's what's happening during Chanukah at the J (and nearby)!
Growing Jewish Families Makers Day Program
Sunday, December 2, 10am at the J
Best enjoyed by children ages 2+, children must be accompanied by an adult
Let your kids explore Chanukah with crafts and exciting hands-on experiences. Sufganiyot Decorating Bar (donuts), PJ Library stories, and Dredel Games!
Learn more: https://bit.ly/2SaKqAY
Light Up the Night! Community Chanukah Celebration and Menorah Lighting
Wednesday, December 5, 5:30pm, Mocaic District, Fairfax
Entertainment, dreidel spinning, sufganiyot (donuts), lighting of the fourth candle at the community menorah lighting
Learn more: https://bit.ly/2OEXWe7
Chanukah Celebration at the Gateway
Wednesday, December 5, 6pm
Location: The Atlas at the Virginia Gateway, Linton Hall Road, Gainesville
The J is co-sponsoring this event hosted by Chabad of Greater Gainesville and Manassas
Adult Services Department Chanukah Celebration
Author Talk with Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff
"Red Hot Mama: The Story of Sophie Tucker"
Thursday, December 6, 1pm at the J
Ms. Sklaroff will help us explore the life of Sophie Tucker - a star in vaudeville, radio, film, and television
Learn more: https://bit.ly/2QsBhqe
Performing Arts: Memories & Miracles - A Culinary-Inspired Concert
Sunday, December 9, 3pm at the J
Experience an immersive culinary-inspired concert with Gourmet Symphony and curated food and beverage from Susan Barocas, chef, food writer, founding director of the Jewish Food Experience and guest chef at the 2014, 2015, and 2016 White House Seders.
Learn more: https://bit.ly/2radehQ