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‎19 Tammuz 5784 | ‎24/07/2024

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Nona Maccabeus: A Chanukah Story by Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer

Nona Maccabeus:  A Chanukah Story by Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week we’re celebrating Chanukah and, in keeping with our tradition here at English Corner, I’m going to read you a holiday story. Nona Maccabeus is a contemporary Chanukah story, written by the American Sephardic writer Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer.

Ms. Kirchheimer is the author of a novel, Amalie in Orbit and a story collection based on Sephardic family life, Goodbye, Evil Eye, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards. Her short fiction has been published in a number of magazines, including The Antioch Review, Arts & Letters, North American Review, Persimmon Tree and Lilith, and in several anthologies, including Follow My Footprints, Lost Tribe, and Sephardic American Voices. In addition, her stories have been broadcast over National Public Radio. She is also co-author of a nonfiction book, We Were So Beloved: Autobiography of a German Jewish Community. Under the name Gloria Levy she made one of the earliest recordings of Sephardic folk songs in the United States.

This story, Nona Maccabeus, was published in National Public Radio’s book Hanukkah Lights, Stories of the Season, in 2005.

All of us here at Radio Sefarad wish all of you a very happy Chanukah, and invite you to participate with us in one of the many celebrations that are taking place in cities throughout Spain.
Following are some of the activities that have been organized in different Spanish cities to celebrate Chanukah this year. All of these are free and open to the general public, although some require prior registration.

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.

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

TARAZONAChanukah 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: Activities at the  Sephardic Museum:

1) 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:

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

More information about Toledo at:

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.