Old City Hanukkah Celebration and Around Philly

Hanukkah is most joyous this year. The first year since the beginning of the pandemic the 2022 holiday season has been bursting with great happiness.

Last night neighbors in Old City gathered to celebrate the start of Hanukkah at the Betsy Ross House, where the Old City Jewish Arts Center hosted a community menorah lighting. Afterwards guests bundled up and enjoyed latkes, doughnuts, and family-friendly programming in the courtyard.

Job Itzkowitz, executive director of Old City District welcomes the more than 150 attendees.
Councilperson Mark Squilla was on hand for the 5th year, despite his own neighborhood hosting their own Menorah lighting in East Passyunk Ave. Thanks
Philly’s biggest cheerleader City Representative Sheila Hess, bringing the holiday cheer.

The iconic 19th-century boathouses along the Schuylkill River light up for Hanukkah during the Boathouse Row Festival of Lights from December 18-23, 2022. Two great spots to catch the colors for free: Fairmount Water Works or the platform above the Fairmount Fish Ladder on the Schuylkill River Trail just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Stay tuned for information about a free virtual lighting ceremony scheduled for December 18, 2022.

Monday, December 19, 2022 | 5-6 p.m.

Celebrate the second night of Hanukkah at Shady Brook Farm during this community event co-hosted by Bucks County Kehillah. After lighting the menorah, counselors from Bucks County’s Camp Galil Jewish summer camp lead craft-making exercises while The Little Shul by the River Band pumps out some festive tunes. Registration is required.

Rittenhouse Square: The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Center City Kehillah host a community candle lighting with treats, music and more in Rittenhouse Square park. Registration is encouraged, and young professionals are invited to mix and mingle with members of local Jewish groups at Misconduct Tavern following the event.

Blue Cross River Rink: This fire- and ice-themed happy hour at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest offers a chance to connect with young Jewish professionals from Greater Philadelphia over cocktails and a latke bar. After a few drinks and light bites, stick around for the lighting of a giant menorah at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are required and come with two complimentary drinks.

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b-mitzvotav, v-tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

South Street: Local religious leaders Rabbi Kamesar, Rabbi Goldman and Rabbi Romirowsky lead the Headhouse Shambles’ menorah lighting. The free event features light refreshments and a brief service under the 18th-century structure at 2nd and Pine streets.

Old City Jewish Arts Center director Rabbi Zalman Wircberg reminded attendees to fight evil with light Sunday evening.

Rabbi Zalman Wircberg “Hate has no place, and how do we fight with it? Not with swords, we fight hate and evil with light, and that’s always been the tradition, the Jewish tradition, where we bring in more light. A little light dispels a lot of darkness. When you bring it into the world and you demonstrate your pride and your values and you stand strong, that is the way we combat, banishing hate.”

Personal Note thanks to Rabbi Wircberg for always being a spiritual role model, to his community, as well as to me. Thank you for the honey bread he’s delivered to me during the pandemic during Sukkoth, un announced. Just out of the goodness of his heart and shared pride in Philly as a wonderful community. (Once he dropped it off at my house, and this past year I saw him at the Old City Festival.)

For more events and things to do for Hanukkah head to Visit Philly