Hanukkah Celebrations Commence Saturday, Dec. 8

Chabad of Brandon will host annual menorah lighting at Westfield Brandon Dec. 9.

This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8 and ends on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 16.

Chabad of Brandon invites the community to celebrate when it hosts its annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony Sunday, Dec. 9 at 4:30 p.m. in the outdoor restaurant courtyard at Westfield Brandon mall.

The event will feature Brandon's tallest Menorah, Tony the Balloon Guy, face painting, hot latkes, Hanukkah music and dancing and chocolate gelt.

For more information, call 813-657-9393. Chabad of Brandon is located at 3005 Waylon Ln., Valrico.

On Dec. 8, the Jewish Student Center at the University of South Florida will have a Hanukkah Party in the Marshall Student Center. There will be a giant menorah, as well as traditional holiday foods and music. The event is open to all members of the Tampa Bay Jewish community.

On Dec. 10, the Jewish Student Center at USF will have the eigth annual Hanukkah on Ice in the Park at Curtis Hixon Park. A 12-foot balloon menorah will be lit, and there will be ice skating, kosher food and more.

Observing the Festival of Lights goes hand-in-hand with making special Hanukkah foods. Before you light the menorah, make sure you have all the ingredients for some great brisket, latke and sufganiyot. Although there are many recipes, below are a few to try during the eight nights of Hanukkah.

Potato Latkes


  • 3 medium/large potatoes - washed, peeled and grated
  • 1 egg for every 3 potatoes
  • Approximately 1/4 cup of flour per every 3 potatoes
  • 1 TBS onion powder per every 3 potatoes
  • 1 TBS garlic powder per every 3 potatoes


  • Grate potatoes, drain off excess juices, add egg(s), flour, onion and garlic powders.
  • Mix well.
  • Place enough oil in a large frying pan to have approximately a half inch of oil, or enough to cover the bottom half of the potatoes. 
  • Take a heaping soup spoon full of potato mixture and place in hot oil and flatten to make a pancake, approximately a quarter to a half inch thick. 
  • Cook on medium heat and watch carefully as they go from being done to burnt very quickly. 
  • At medium heat, cook approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. 
  • Remove from pan when a medium to dark golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels then remove to plate. 
  • Best to use tongs to turn the latkes, so oil doesn't splatter. 

Once they are ready to eat, try them with some apple sauce mixed with sugar and cinnamon, sour cream or just a sprinkling of salt.



  • 1 brisket any size
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 1 can jelled cranberry sauce
  • Orange juice


  • Line deep baking pan with foil.
  • Place brisket in pan.
  • Dice up cranberry sauce and place on top of brisket.
  • Sprinkle onion soup mix on top of brisket.
  • Pour in enough OJ to cover brisket about half way.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until you can stick a fork in it and the fork slides out easily.
  • Approximately one hour per pound.
  • Let cool and cut on the bias

Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) from chabad.org


  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 or 5 cups. flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Jelly of your choice for filling
  • Powdered sugar


  • Mix water, sugar, juice and yeast.
  • Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Melt margarine and add to yeast mixture.
  • Beat in eggs and salt.
  • Add flour, mixing and kneading by hand to form a soft dough.
  • Let rise 1 1/2 hours.
  • Roll dough 1/4-inch thick and cut circles (approximately 2 inches).
  • Let circles rise 1/2 hour.
  • Deep fry at 400 degrees about 3 minutes, turning once.
  • Pipe in jelly and roll in powdered sugar.

For more Hanukkah recipes as well as facts about Hanukkah, how to play dreidel and a Menorah Lighting Guide, visit Chabad of Brandon's website.

What are your favorite things to eat during Hanukkah? Do you have any special or traditional Hanukkah recipes in your family? Share them with us in the "Comments" section.


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