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‎17 Tammuz 5784 | ‎22/07/2024

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Laurel Zehnder, Intern at Radio Sefarad AND Upcoming Chanukah Celebrations in Spain

Laurel Zehnder, Intern at Radio Sefarad AND Upcoming Chanukah Celebrations in Spain

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – (Chanukah begins this year on the evening of December 6, and many cities in Spain are celebrating it with different activities that are free and open to the general public. At the end of this page there is information about some of them.)

This week’s trivia question: What is the name of an organization that permits Americans to spend time in Israel doing volunteer work with the Israeli army?

Laurel Zehnder is an American university student who is spending a semester in Madrid. She is also a volunteer intern at Radio Sefarad. We spoke with her about her interest in Jewish subjects, and her work here at the radio.


Following are some of the activities that have been organized in different Spanish cities to celebrate Chanukah next week. Almost all of these are free and open to the general public, although some require prior registration. We hope that as many of you as possible will join us in celebrating the Festival of Lights.

MADRID: What has become a traditional celebration will take place on Thursday, December 10, at 7 pm in the Plaza de la Villa, on the Calle Mayor, where the fifth candle of a giant menorah will be lit. The Mayor of Madrid and the Israeli Ambassador will participate in the ceremony, and there will be performances by the Centro Ibn Gabirol-Estrella Toledano School, Yajad, Maccabi and Bet-El; songs and music with Radio Sefarad’s Jorge Rozenblum and Eduardo Paniagua and dances by the GaiaDanza Company. The audience will also be able to participate in traditional folk dancing, and taste sufganiot, the Sephardic sweet that is typical of this holiday.

SEGOVIA will celebrate Chanukah on Wednesday, December 9, at 8:00 pm, in the Plaza del Corpus, with the participation of the Mayor of Segovia, the Cultural Attaché of the Israeli Embassy, the Presidents of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain and the Jewish Community of Madrid, and the Director General of Centro Sefarad-Israel. Rabbi Moshe Bendahan will bless the lighting of the fourth candle. Then there will be singing and dancing, including a performance by the Galapagar dance group, after which they will lead the audience in Israeli folk dancing. Finally, everyone will be invited to have sufganiot and tea. Also, in the Didactic Center of the Jewish Quarter, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 11-13, there will be an exhibition and sale of typical Chanukah foods and Jewish music and artifacts.

BARCELONA: A celebration will take place on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Plaça Sant Jaume.

CASTELLÓ D’EMPÚRIES: Lighting of Chanukah candles, blessings in Hebrew and Catalan, tasting of sufganiot, performance of Sephardic music by Serfs de la Gleva. Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7:00 p.m. at Paller d’en Melino.

CÓRDOBA: Cooking workshop featuring typical Chanukah recipes, as part of the 3rd cycle of “La cocina en las festividades judías”. Lighting of the 6th candle and explanation of the meaning of this holiday. Friday, Dec. 11, at 6:00 p.m. at Todo Cocina (c/Esteban Cabrera nº5 nave 2. Main entrance P.I. las Quemadas) Free, but registration required, at:

GIRONA: Lighting of candles, with explanation of the holiday. Musical accompaniment by the group Ancient Groove. Sampling of sufganiot, typical Chanukah sweet. Sunday, Dec. 13, 8:00 p.m., Plaça del Vi.

LEÓN: Chanukah storytelling. Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13, at 6:00 p.m. Palacio del Conde Luna

LUCENA: Brief performance of «Janucá: Un Viaje a la Fiesta de las Luces» (“Chanukah, A Journey to the Festival of Lights”), by the Fundación CMCA «Tu historia» en Lucena, followed at 7:00 by a concert “Music of the Three Cultures”, by the group Zejel from Seville. Thursday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. Palacio de los Condes de Santa Ana

TARAZONA: Chanukah for children at the Ludoteca Municipal. Storytelling: «El gran milagro de la Janucá” (“The Great Miracle of Chanukah”). Blessing and lighting of the candles, and blessing over chocolate coins, which will be distributed to the participants at the end of the workshop. Chanukah songs and dances. Workshop of Chanukah objects and toys. (The participants will learn about the symbols of the holiday and will make traditional sevivonim/dreidels, menorahs and candles out of paper). Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 6:00 p.m. Ludoteca Municipal

Talk and celebration of Chanukah for adults. Reenactment of a typical Sephardic Chanukah celebration. Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 8:00 p.m. Centro de mayores

TOLEDO: Prayer vigil. Sunday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. Santa María la Blanca Synagogue. Contact:  Phone: 925793132 | 600847754

Activities at the Sephardic Museum:

1) “The holiday cycle. Special thematic itinerary about Chanukah” Guided thematic tour of the Sephardic Museum. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 11:00, 12:00, 1:00 and 2:00. Reservations at:

2) Workshop for school children: «Hanuká, historias de la luz» (“Chanukah, stories of light”). Dec. 9, 10, 11 and 15. Two sessions each morning (9:45-11:15 and 11:15-12:45). Registration at:

3) Chanukah concert. Sephardic songs by the “Hora Ludens” Chorus. Sunday, Dec. 13, 12:00. Gran Sala de Oración

More information about Toledo

TORTOSA: Performance of the play ‘Recordando Hanukkah’ (“Remembering Chanukah”) by La Jueva de Tortosa. Saturday, Dec. 5, at 6:00 p.m. P. De la Immaculada. Tickets: 3 euros Information and reservations: 698-080-050

VALENCIA: La Javura, the Conservative Jewish community in Valencia, invites you to join them in celebrating even if you are miles away. Each and every night of Chanukah you can tune in on USTREAM at exactly 8:00 p.m. CET and watch and/or participate with them as they light another candle.