With large in-person Chanukah gatherings being put on hold due to the pandemic, various divisions of the Orthodox Union, the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, have come together to create a centralized online hub with resources to guide community members in celebrating at home throughout the holiday, which will take place December 10 through December 18.
In light of the community’s extensive use of the OU’s “Chag at Home” platform several months ago, a coordinated effort was undertaken by OU Kosher, the OU Women’s Initiative, OU Torah Initiatives, OU Israel, and the Karasick Department of Synagogue & Community Services to create Chanukah at-home opportunities for both Torah inspiration and fun engagement for individuals and families.
OU Kosher will be providing a series of over a dozen, two-minute Chanukah videos that address common Halachic questions related to the holiday, such as when to light the candles, what to do if a person forgets to say Al HaNisim, and more. The department will also be focusing its widely popular Halachah Yomis program on providing readers with the answers to the most frequently asked questions related to Chanukah.
The OU Women’s Initiative will launch a video series titled “Chanukah Ideas and Inspiration,” featuring noted lecturers Michelle Sarna, Rivi Frankel, Sorah Shaffran, and Rivka Foxbrunner.
OU Torah Initiatives will be launching a series of close to 25 shiurim. They will be available in a mix of audio, video, and text offerings. The lectures will feature Torah luminaries including HaGaon Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Zev Leff, Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman, Rabbanit Shani Taragin, Dr. Chana Tannenbaum, and others.
OU Israel will provide child- and family-friendly programming, including a series of six animated videos and engaging activity sheets, which will guide families looking to spend time together following candle lighting each evening.
OU Karasick Synagogue & Community Services will provide a daily downloadable, easy-to-digest packet of Torah articles and essays that readers can print out to read or share each night.
“Due to the pandemic, for many people numerous traditional aspects of the Chanukah celebration will be different this year. It is nevertheless incumbent upon us to ensure that we derive the appropriate joy and inspiration from these holy and special days. The Orthodox Union is privileged to offer so many Torah resources and innovative experiences to help enhance the holiday,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.
“Our team across our different divisions worked diligently and came together to create Chanukah programming to help elevate our community’s celebration,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer. “While we are saddened that many of our usual communal and family gatherings will be disrupted this year, our hope is that many will visit the website and be inspired to spend time discussing the messages and meaning of the holiday.”
For more information or to utilize the website, please visit www.ou.org/chanukah.