This year, Hanukkah gets a work-week jump on Christmas, beginning today and running two days past Boxing Day. Besides meaning “time for a lot of presents and sparkly flair,” it’s also a period when Jewish people can celebrate survival and perseverance as exemplified by their ancestors. The Maccabees were somehow able to keep their temple lit by a candleholder called a hanukiyah for eight days with what was thought to be only enough oil for one day. In grand San Francisco tradition, we now infuse the Menorah Lighting Ceremony with some newly adopted niceties. This year at Ghirardelli Square’s lighting, attendees may enjoy tea and finger-sized nibbles from the oh-so-English Crown & Crumpet to accompany the Hebrew proceedings from the local chapter of the Jewish Learning Institute. Jordan Feinstein offers live music to go with the nosh, while Peekadoodle Kidsclub (an educational center within the complex) provides a crafting table for the little ones. It’s all so civilized these days.
Tue., Dec. 20, 5:30 p.m., 2011