Chanukah Challenge

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The rules



Night One

Light it Up! 

JOIn us (on Zoom) for our Kick Off Event as we light our Chanukah candles together and then break out into different rooms for activities. Registration required for zoom link. Click here for instructions on how to properly light your menorah.

Breakout Room #1- For Children 5 and under. PJ Library book reading and craft with Mindy Knaster

Breakout Room #2- For Children 3 and up. Donut Decorating with Rabbi Menachem Lehrfield

Breakout Room #3- For Children 7 and up. Donut Making with Nechama Heller (Rabbi Lehrfield's sister)

Breakout Room #4- For Children 7 & Up. Menorah Making with Rabbi Yonatan Nuszen

*You will need to get your own materials for breakout session activities! Find a list of the materials needed HERE.

Night Two

The Shabbat Chanukah Disconnect

In honor of Shabbat Chanukah, enjoy the candles as a family for 30 minutes after lighting. Candles should be lit before Shabbat begins (4:17pm) This allows us to bask in the glow and light of the menorah and remember and share all the miracles that Hashem performed for us in the past and also currently, on a daily basis. Challenge every member of the family to turn off their phones and devices and find the JOI in connecting with your family while totally disconnected from the world. (For this challanege, no photo is necessary. Instead, please post something after Shabbat and tell us how awesome it was.)

Night Three

Dreidel Scattergories

Play a traditional game of dreidel with your family or try this fun adaptation:

Spin the dreidel and whichever side it lands on (נ,ג,ה,ש), players have two minutes to think up words that fit in a certain category (like fruit, vegetables, movie star or animal name) and start with that letter (N, G, H, Sh). Longest (or most creative!) list wins.

The dreidel was invented at the time that the Syrian-Greeks forbade the Jewish people from studying Torah. Fearlessly, the Jews continued teaching and studying Torah in secret. Should a Greek soldier appear, they would hide their books, pull out tops and play with the children. 

For a deeper look into the meaning of dreidel click here.


Night Four

Motto of the Maccabee


Make a family "battle cry" or motto and then make a banner displaying your motto. Discuss why this is your family mantra and how you can use it on a daily basis.


The word Maccabee is an acronym for the Maccabee's battle cry: “Mi kamocha ba’eilim Hashem (מי כמוך באילים י׳), “Who is like You among the mighty, Hashem.” This phrase was written upon their banners and shields.


Night Five

Chanukah Hunt


Give family members clues as to where you have hidden symbols of the holiday: chocolate gelt, paper latkes, a dreidel, a new book to share, etc. Up the adventure by doing it with all the lights out and only a flashlight to light the way!

Night Six

Make Lotsa Latkes!


What's the best part about Chanukah? The latkes of course! Use this classic recipe to make your very own latkes! Trader Joe’s latkes count too ;)

When the Jews reclaimed the Temple they searched high and low and only found 1 flask of pure olive oil they lit the Menorah anyway knowing that after just one day the lights would go dark. Miraculously, the oil lasted for 8 days! We eat food fried in oil on Chanukah to remember this miracle that occurred with oil.

Night Seven

Share the Light

Tis the season for giving! Choose a friend (or a few) that you'd like to deliver goodies to whether a card, baked goods, or special gifts to let them know you are thinking of them this holiday season!

Night Eight

Publicize the Miracle

Light the menorah with all 8 candles proudly in your front window. Gather the family for a photo and feel the warmth and light of being a part of something bigger.


Each night of Chanukah from Thursday, December 10 - Thursday, December 17, we challenge you to the activities listed below! Take a picture of you completing each challenge and post it to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #8nightsofJOI. Every post will earn your family a ticket into a raffle to win a $100 Amazon gift card!


Winner drawn live on the JOI Facebook page on Friday, December 18. Good Luck!


Disclaimer: By sending in your pictures you consent to have your picture shared on JOI social media channels. If this is uncomfortable for you, please let us know and we will make alternative arrangements.

The Tasks

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Story Time
Story Time

You will need...

Donut with Icing
Donut Decorating

You will need...

  • Microwavable cup or bowl

  • Fork

  • Wire cooling rack (optional)

  • Foil or parchment paper (optional)

Mother and Daughter Baking
Donut Making

You will need...

  • 3 1/2  cups bread flour

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose 

  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast

  • 1⁄2 cup sugar

  • 4 tsp vanilla sugar

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  •  4 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract or brandy 

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 1 1⁄2 cups water

  • More oil (2 quarts) for frying 

  • 5 qt heavy pot or fryer

  • Slotted spoon

  • Parchment paper cut in 4x4 squares

  • Food safe gloves 

  • Spray oil (pam)

  • Plastic wrap 

  • Clean cookie sheet or tray lined with paper towels

  • Confectionery sugar

  • Jam or other filling (Nutella, chocolate cream, etc)

  • Cupcake cream injector or large medicine syringe

  • Frying thermometer (ideally)

At the Wood Shop
Menorah Making​

You will need...

  •  We are currently SOLD OUT of Menorah making kits .


 If you registered, you will receive pickup information via email.


To view a list of materials needed and to purchase your own click HERE.

You will need to get your own supplies for the breakout room of your choice. See the list of materials you will need below.

Please keep in mind you will only be doing one of these 4 activities. 

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