Hanukkah Traditions in TLV

Hanukkah is such a special holiday in Israel. For a bit over a week, friends and family get together to celebrate, sing, play games, and eat of course. The weather has finally cooled off but it’s not too cold yet. 

The holiday is eight days long where you light the menorah, eat potato latkes and sufganiyot (hole-less doughnuts). People take advantage of the festivities for parties and get-togethers and even travel around Israel and have fun days in Tel Aviv. 

Combining Hanukkah with Tel Aviv, the most adrenaline-driven city in Israel is a perfect pair. 

Let’s see what Tel Aviv has in store for us during Hanukkah

  • Lighting the Menorah: Tel Aviv has dozens of synagogues and quite a few are tourist and visitor-friendly where you can enjoy the sermons in multiple languages. Here you can light the menorah together each night, sing songs, and sometimes even enjoy holiday treats.
  • Sufganiyot: These hole-less doughnuts are a Hanukkah tradition, stuffed with the traditional filling of strawberry jelly. Over the last few years, the tradition has made way for creativity of chocolate, rum, pistachio cream, and so many additional yummy fillings – you have to try them all. You can find these, actually by scent, at any given bakery in the Tel Aviv, many times as they come right out of the oven.
  • Parties: Lots and lots of parties. People of all ages take advantage of the festive atmosphere to host decorated parties with lots of music and alcohol. Many bars and clubs also make their fun evenings even more enjoyable, now with the holiday ‘excuse’.
  • Tel Aviv Ports: Both the Jaffa and Tel Aviv port hold special events both during the day and in the evening during the holiday. It may become a bit crowded but, hey, that’s part of the fun – one big party.
  • Museums: Since many people take time off during Hanukkah, although this is not a time when workplaces are closed, museums all over the city host special exhibitions and tours, many having to do with Jewish history around the story of Hanukkah or around the topic of light and the coming out of darkness into light. Check ahead of time which exhibition may be interesting for you. 
  • The Beach: Yes!! This may sound a bit strange, but during the month of December in Israel, although having nothing to do with the holiday, the weather is great. It does get cooler, it may even rain, but you do get a few days where it’s sunny, warm, and the beach is right there calling you – in shorts and t-shirt, bathing suit, or even with a sweater, enjoy a beer or coffee looking out at the horizon.

Hag Sameach, Happy Holiday.