Before the 1800s, Hanukkah was a minor holiday to most Jews. However, the status of the holiday began to change after the Civil War, when Rabbi Max Lilienthal created Hanukkah events for children at his synagogue. Soon, these types of events were adopted nationwide. In the twentieth century, Jews began expanding the celebration of the holiday to compete with Christmas and reinforce their dedication to Judaism.
Join the Museum for a program exploring the history of Hanukkah in the United States. The program will consist of a conversation between Jenna Joselit, Professor of History at George Washington University, and Marjorie Ingall, columnist at Tablet magazine and author.