Boulder County Chanukkah Resource Guide

Happy Chanukkah (Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukah) Everyone!
In this Resource Guide, we have everything you need to create a meaningful holiday celebration. Here’s a great video from the Boulder JCC to get you in the mood. It’s from 2011, an oldie but a goodie!
Just for kicks, we found Sixteen ways to spell Hanukkah
For the record:

Hanukkah : 8,470,000 hits.
Chanukah : 3,390,000 hits.
Hanukah : 862,000 hits.
Hannukah : 677,000 hits.
Chanuka : 335,000 hits.
Chanukkah : 274,000 hits.
Hanuka : 192,000 hits.
Channukah : 128,000 hits.
Chanukka : 116,000 hits.*
Hanukka : 86,300 hits.
Hannuka : 51,400 hits.

Hannukkah : 37,300 hits.
Channuka : 33,600 hits.
Xanuka : 992 hits.
Hannukka : 686 hits.
Channukkah : 508 hits.
Channukka : 489 hits.*


Judaism considers Chanukkah a minor holiday. Typically, it gains importance as a holiday because of its proximity to Christmas. Just as the meaning of Christmas has become overshadowed by consumerism, so too has Chanukkah’s meaning. Here are articles, blogs and suggestions on how to help put Chanukkah in proper perspective for those young and old. Check the Events and Themes tabs for ways to reclaim Chanukkah in this new perspective.
Great ideas on Chanukkah from Hazon dreidel
The True Meaning of Chanukah
NY Times Op-Ed by Hilary Leila Krieger of The Jerusalem Post
Teaching the real meaning of Chanukah
Add Meaning to Chanukah
To Gift or Not to Gift
Eight Steps to a Meaningful Hanukkah
Making Chanukah Meaningful
Interesting Ideas
A Boulder Take on Hanukkah
Music Videos
Matisyahu Miracle Video
Maccabeats – All About that Nes
Maccabeats Version – Matisyahu Miracle
Shir Soul Haunkkah Medley
Chanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, December 24, 2016 (First Candle).
For a listing of Chaunukkah events, please see the Boulder Jewish News.

We can take advantage of the hype around Chanukkah to create meaningful moments and memories for ourselves and our loved ones. Here are 8 days of Chanukkah reinvented. No need to give 8 presents when you have these exciting evenings planned. Do a few or all of them.
Why Theme Nights?theme nights

Game Night
Play a traditional game of dreidel or let everyone pick a game to play with the whole family. Invite friends over for a game night. Have everyone bring a can to donate.Chanukkah
Upcycle Night
Upcycling, converting useless products into something useful, can be adapted into an enjoyable evening for all. Go through your house/closet and pull out things you never wear or use. Invite friends or family to do the same. Instead of doing a gift exchange, participants at the party can reclaim others’ items. Whatever is not claimed at the end of the evening can be donated, taken to thrift stores or homeless shelters. Add a little fun by having people “auction” their items. If you want the item, you can yell “dibs” (where one declares a first claim to something to which no one else has a clearly recognized right). It is a win-win for all, you clean out your closet and get new stuff.
4th Night for Philanthropy
Check the Boulder JCC website for an explanation.
Fried Food Night
Go all out with the recipes on this site. Make traditional latkes, sweet potato latkes and sufganiyot. Invite people to bring their best recipe or hold an “Iron Chef” style competition.
Volunteer Night
Bring family/friends to volunteer with Jewish Family Service in Senior Living Communities around the county. For a list of locations, see our events tab. If you want to help cook or set up, contact Ingrid Swords
Share in Diversity Night
Join your non-Jewish friends one eventing to learn about traditions in their home. Since Chanukah is a minor holiday for Jews and a major holiday for other faiths, support them in honoring their traditions that are different from ours.
Community Night
Find an activity on the events section of this website that works for you and celebrate with new friends you may not know.
Craft Night
Homemade gifts are often the ones we keep far longer than a store-bought one. Decide together a fun project for everyone involved and get messy. There are oodles of websites dedicated to handmade gifts. Here are just a few to get you started: 35 Easy DIY Gifts, Best DIY Gifts, 23 Homemade Gifts Kids Can Make
Light on the Darkest Night of the Year
Learn facts about the winter solstice, spend the evening doing everything by candlelight, light a fire in the fireplace, build a pillow fort (even if you don’t have kids) and enjoy darkness.
latkes in pan

Latkes – Regular Potatoes with Variations

  • Shred your potatoes in a food processor. If you don’t have one, it’s probably a very good investment.
  • According to, the starchier the potato, the better the latke. They recommend Yukon Golds.
  • To bake, to fry, that is the question. After experimenting with bake before fry, bake only and fry before bake, our testers suggest fry then bake to get perfectly cooked latkes every time. When you are heating your oil, put the oven on 250-300 (higher if you are serving fairly immediately, lower if you are waiting to serve). Put as many cooling racks (the ones you use for cookies) on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet in the oven. As your batches are done, place them on the cooling racks.
  • According to, once your potatoes are shredded, wring them out in cheesecloth.
  • According to Susan Rona, the best way to freeze latkes is to bake them and place them directly on foil (do not blot on paper towels). Once you remove them from the freezer, preheat oven to 400 and bake in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Then, you can place on paper towels to remove any excess oil.

Basic Potato Latke latkes
1 pound potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil (Editors note: do not use extra virgin olive oil. You can also sub olive oil for safflower oil)

Accompaniments: sour cream and applesauce

Peel potatoes, chop and shred in a food processor or coarsely grate by hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander. (Will keep the mix from turning brown.)
Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Read more at:
Now for the variations
21 Crazy and Delicious Latkes
Cheesy Herb – Add 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, basil and oregano.
Spicy – add chili powder and cumin

Latkes – Sweet Potato with Variations
Sweet Potato Latkes
1 lb sweet potatoes
1 inch piece fresh, or 2 Tbsp powdered ginger
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
Shred sweet potatoes and mix with ginger. Mix all other ingredients together into a batter, then mix in the shredded potatoes. Fry in 1/2 inch of oil. About 1/3 cup of batter makes one latke.
Basic recipe from this hilarious post on the Jew and the Carrot
Now for the variations:
Instead of ginger, add cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
For a delicious Indian twist, add curry, coriander, cardamom and cinnamon. Can serve with apple chutney vs. applesauce:
Apple Chutney

4 granny smiths, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
2 shallots, sliced thin
2/3 cup currants
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice

Simply place all ingredients in a medium size heavy pan.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 45 – 60 minutes, or until soft.
To add a little fruit to your diet, add shredded apple, raisins or finely chopped dates to the mix.
Also from the Jew and the Carrot
1 large sweet potato (yam), peeled and grated
1 medium onion, grated
1 c walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 T sage
1/2 c flour, or 1/4 c flour and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, or 1/4 c flour and 1/4 c cornmeal
5+ eggs, beaten (editors note, this seems like way too many eggs. I would start with one then add more as needed to hold the batter together)
1 T salt plus more to taste
1/2 T ground black pepper, to taste
olive oil
butter or margarine (optional)

Tip: To speed up the chopping, I chop the nuts in the food processor, then grate the sweet potato and onion in the food processor without cleaning the bowl.
1) Combine grated sweet potatoes, onion, walnuts, sage, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss thoroughly.
2) Stir in the eggs. Mix well until mixture looks uniformly slick. Add another egg if necessary for batter to hold together.
3) Heat 1 T oil and 1 T butter or margarine (or 2 T oil) in a skillet. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out batter. Fry 1-2 minutes/side.
4) Drain on towels (clean dish towels or paper towels).
5) Repeat as necessary, keeping early batches crisp in the oven on a 300-degree baking sheet.
6) Serve plain, or with applesauce and/or lowfat sour cream. Try sprinkling a little nutmeg and/or black pepper into the applesauce.

Donuts and Other Fried Things
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the baking sheet and rolling out the dough
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup warm whole milk (105°F to 115°F)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), at room temperature
6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) vegetable or canola oil, for frying, plus more for coating the bowl
2/3 cup smooth jam or jelly
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Total Time: About 1 hr 15 mins, plus 2 hrs rising time
Active Time: 1 hr 15 mins
While latkes are the snack most commonly associated with Hanukkah, sufganiyot are more commonly consumed in Israel. We can see why, because they are addictive and don’t leave the house as smelly.
Special equipment: You will need a 2-inch round cutter. If you don’t have one, you can use a drinking glass of the same size.
You will also need a candy/fat thermometer, as well as a 12- to 18-inch pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip to fill the donuts with jam or jelly.
Game plan: When deep-frying, make sure the oil stays at a constant temperature, adjusting your stove’s heat as necessary.
For Foodies from Food and Wine Magazine – more fried recipes than you could want in an evening
From Children’s Holiday Kitchen – with ideas on how kids can help

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Other Healthy Modifications
Anti-potato? Try any of the recipes above, but instead of the potatoes, substitute shredded parsnip, carrot, zucchini and or beet. Try mixing different root vegetables together for interesting combinations.
Gluten-Free – all of the recipes in our research call for substituting the flour or matzah meal with a gluten free flour mix. Nothing earth shattering there.
Here are 10 Gluten-Free Latke Recipes
Gluten-Free Sufganiyot
Dairy-free – latkes are traditionally dairy free and fried in peanut oil, safflower oil or olive oil (not extra virgin)