8 Nights, 8 Treasures, 8 Languages

Join us for a Hanukkah video journey across cultures and time, featuring treasures from the National Library of Israel!

The National Library of Israel
The valiant Maccabees and a lit Hanukkiah appear on the cover of a Polish Zionist Hanukkah publication, 1947. From the National Library of Israel collection

Join the National Library of Israel in celebrating Hanukkah this year with eight stories, eight historical treasures, eight languages, and eight candles; part of the National Library’s “A Look at the Jewish Year” series.

First candle

Join Dr. Aliza Moreno-Goldschmidt, head of the Israel and Judaica Reading Room, as she explores a small, rare booklet of Ladino Hanukkah verses, printed in the Ottoman Empire:

Check out these stories about Sephardic culture and heritage:

Memories from my Sephardic Grandparents

Five-Hundred Years in the Life of the Amon Family

Kosher Pork Chops and Crypto-Jewish Identity

Also check out our world-leading collection of digitized, fully searchable historic Jewish press, including numerous titles in Ladino and Spanish.

Second candle

Join Ariel Viterbo, an archivist in the National Library’s Archives, for a look at a late 19th century Tuscan Hanukkah flyer, including texts in Hebrew and Italian:

Discover more Italian Jewish culture and heritage:

Did a Woman Really Read from the Torah in the 15th century?

The Disappearing Headstones from the Jewish Cemetery of Ferrara

Meet Emilia Morpurgo: A Female Ritual Slaughterer from Italy

“I-Tal-Ya Books”, an exciting new initiative to create a unified listing of all Hebrew books in Italy for the first time ever

Third candle

Join Tadeusz Woleński, a project manager in the Culture Department, for a look at two Polish Hanukkah treasures, one from just before the Holocaust and one from just after:

Check out these stories about Polish Jewish culture and heritage:

Also check out our world-leading collection of digitized, fully searchable historic Jewish press, including dozens of titles in Polish and Yiddish.

Fourth candle

Join Dr. Amalia Kedem of the Music Collection and Sound Archive for a listen to the official candle lighting ceremony at the Israeli president’s residence in 1957:

Discover more:

Hanukkah Songs and Sounds From Across the Globe

Bringing Darkness to Light: Singing Hanukkah Songs Through the Holocaust

Diverse musical treasures from the NLI collections

Listen to the full recording of the ceremony described in the video


Fifth candle

Join Emmanuel Fulop, R&D Manager and Architect, for a look at a rare French Jewish text that mentions latkes before potatoes had even made their way to Europe!


Sixth candle

Join Chaya Meier-Herr, head of the Edelstein Collection, for a look at a 1914 Hanukkah publication for German Jewish soldiers:

Seventh candle

Join Alexander Gordin, coordinator of the Special Collections Reading Room, for a look at a rare Hanukkah text from the Bukharian Jewish community:

Eighth candle

Join Daniel Lipson, expert reference librarian, for a look at rare Hanukkah posters printed in India:

Discover more:

Items relating to Kolkata in the National Library’s Digital Collection

Gandhi’s 1939 Rosh Hashanah Greeting to the Jewish People

A Parrot from India Recites ‘Shema Yisrael’ in Cairo

These films are part of “A Look at the Jewish Year,” a series presented by the National Library of Israel, which provides insights into the Jewish calendar and holidays through the lens of the National Library’s world-leading collection of Jewish manuscripts, books, printed materials and more.

They have been produced as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to connect with people, institutions and communities across Europe and beyond, through storytelling, knowledge sharing and community engagement.


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