Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights

6th annual JArts Hanukkah Celebration at the MFA, Boston

Wednesday, December 18, 4:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Community Candle Lighting 6:30 PM

FREE admission from 4pm (MFA members skip the line)


There’s no Hanukkah celebration like the Hanukkah celebration put on by JArts and the MFA. That’s why MarthaStewart.com cited us as one of the 8 best Hanukkah events in the US.

Here’s a video snapshot of this wonderful community celebration. This 6th annual event features:

Welcome and Community Menorah Celebration

6:30pm Shapiro Family Courtyard

Join us for community celebration of Hanukkah.

ASL Interpreted

Hanukkah Menorah Installation: Persist and Rise From Ashes

4–10 pm | Shapiro Family Courtyard

Created by artist Caron Tabb, this Hanukkiah embodies and tells the tale of Hanukkah; the miracle of light over darkness, good over evil, freedom over servitude. We might each be a single light but together, a powerful voice.

Star of David Crafting

5-9 pm | Gallery 268

The six-pointed Star of David is a popular symbol in Jewish arts and culture. Known in Hebrew as a  Magen David  (shield of David), geometrically it is two triangles superimposed on each other, forming the shape of a hexagram. Using yarn and cardboard, create your own Star of David.

Button Making

5-9 pm | Gallery 268

Create your own Hanukkah pin with JCDS.

Menorah Stamp Making

5-9 pm | Druker 159

Join local artist Kit Collins and the Rashi School to make your own 2-dimensional menorah. View the Hanukkah lamps located throughout galleries 142 and 149, and then carve your own candle stamp out of soft rubber. Over the next 8 nights, use your stamp to “light” your menorah.

Brighter Beyond

4-9:30 pm | Riley Seminar Room

A collaborative, interactive blacklight experience. Add your light to this glowing installation led by artist Tova Speter and featuring work from over 100 local students.

Barnyard Bubbe’s Hanukkah Musical Story Time

4:30-4:50 | Linde 168

Authors/songwriters Joni Klein-Higger and Barbara Scharff invite you to share Hanukkah fun at Bubbe’s farm. The Israeli American Council will kick off with a Hanukkah song in Hebrew.
ASL Interpreted

Russian Story Time

5:45 – 6:10 | Druker 160

Join the PJ Library and the JCC for a reading of ‘The Chanukah Bear’ in both English and Russian, as well as other Hanukkah favorites. An interactive event geared towards both young children and grown-ups.

Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys

5:15-6:00 | Linde 168

Be prepared for your family to sing and dance with this Boston favorite and her band. In partnership with PJ Library.

Singer Rosalie Gerut

7:15-7:35, 7:55-8:15, 8:35-8:55| Linde 168

A charming performer who sings in her native Yiddish, as well as in Hebrew, English, Ladino/Spanish and Russian. In partnership with Gann Academy.

Yaeko Elmaleh Group

6:45-7:10, 7:30-7:50, 8:10-8:30| Shapiro Family Courtyard

A unique klezmer-world music fusion by a violinist who has played with both Itzhak Perlman and Stevie Wonder.

Jenna Pollack “The Flared Place”

7:25-7:45, 8:00-8:20, 8:40-9:00|Gallery 260/261

This Boston choreographer premieres her JArts commission on the holiday themes of light and dark. In partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

ASL interpreter for any speaking during final performance.

Spotlight Talks

5:30–8 pm, Galleries 127, 142, 144, 175, 241 A, and 258

Drop in to the galleries for a 15-minute talk on an object from the MFA’s collection of Judaica.

ASL interpreter

American Sign Language Tour

7 pm | Meet at Sharf Visitor Center

Join Stephen Weiner to learn about works of Judaica in the MFA’s collection.

Rabbi Dan Judson, Stories

7:15, 7:45, and 8:15 pm | Gallery 250

Join Moth storytelling champions Rabbi Dan Judson and Michelle Ephraim, Associate Professor of English, as they share Hanukkah-inspired tales. Presented in partnership with Hebrew College.

Judaica in the Galleries

Objects of Judaica can be found in these galleries:

Musical Instruments | Gallery 103D

Art of the Americas | Gallery 127

Art of Europe | Galleries 142, 144, 149, 153, and 241A

Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art | Galleries 158 and 258

Arts of Asia and Oceania | Galleries 175, 275

Learn more about the MFA’s Judaica collection at mfa.org/Judaica.

Scavenger Hunt

4-9 | Druker

Find three pieces of art that share the light and miracle of Hanukkah and win a bright token. Presented in partnership with Solomon Schechter Day School.

Face Painting

4:30-6 | G-86

Come by to get a little holiday adornment that will make the celebration even more festive.

Hanukkah Treats

Enjoy latkes in the New American Cafe or treat yourself to Rugelah and a Sufganiyot bar in Taste Café. All for purchase.







5th Annual Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights

Full schedule now available here!


Don’t miss Boston’s most vibrant Hanukkah happening! Feel the energy as the MFA comes alive with music, art, crafts, and storytelling at this free night of fun for all ages. Dance to Jim Guttmann’s big band, Bessarabian Breakdown (with klezmer dance lessons), enjoy the Voice of the Turtle Duo’s timeless versions of ancient Sephardic folk songs, experience Yiddish infused opera performances by Anthony Mordechai Zvi Russell, listen to a performance by Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program, and hear stories by local  Moth storytelling champion Rabbi Dan Judson. Enjoy art making throughout the museum, try your hand at drawing in the galleries, join gallery talks, and go on a Hanukkah themed scavenger hunt.  

At 6:30pm, join us in the Shapiro Courtyard to light the MFA-commissioned menorah by artist Silvina Mizrahi.  

New this year – participate in the creation of a glow in the dark hanukkiah art installation.  

Families, come early: we’ll have a PJ Library sing along, face painting, and craft projects starting at 4:30pm. Full schedule now available here!

Please be advised that all bags are subject to inspection by Museum staff. Backpacks and large bags are not permitted. All other smaller bags are strongly discouraged, and may need to be checked upon entry. Due to the popularity of this event, we anticipate lines to enter the Museum. We recommend allowing extra time for entry. The Museum reserves the right to deny entry or to ask guests to leave at any time.



Presented by JArts and the MFA.

#MFAHanukkah @MFABoston

What an Amazing Start


The shows are over. The books are closed. And its time we research, review, and learn from the first JArts season. We hope you’re as proud of what we have accomplished as all of us are. After all, whether you’re a fan or philanthropist, artist or usher, we have done all this together. And together, we will continue to share and enjoy the incredible diversity, vitality, and quality of Jewish culture from around the world. Just imagine, less than  year ago, JArts was only a dream. Now, look at the incredible impact we have had in just seven months! And when you’re done reviewing the spring, get ready to enjoy our fascinating fall season being announced on August 25.