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Making Hanukkah Celebrations Accessible: Home-Made Menorah Candle Craft Ideas and Special Publications

This year’s celebration of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, begins the evening of December 7, 2023. The festival can be enjoyable and accessible for celebrants of all ages, including individuals with vision impairment, with some preparation.

The RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) offers craft activities children and young people can enjoy in planning for the festivities. A number of projects are offered to create safe candles for the Menorah and the nine candles it holds. For example, candles made of colorful cardboard can be formed from empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls. They can be painted in blue and white, traditional Hanukkah colors, or another color if desired. The candle’s “flame” can be made from a yellow or gold-colored card cut into a teardrop shape and attached to the top of the cardboard tubes. Other decorations, such as sequins, gems, or other light-reflecting objects, can be added to enhance the experience. Menorahs can also be created in a tactile version, using macaroni, or with colored wool that can be wound around craft or lollipop sticks. For more details about these projects as well as other suggestions for making Menorah candles, read the RNIB webpage on Hanukkah.

Special Hanukkah Publications

JBI (formerly known as the Jewish Braille Institute) offers prayers that are free to download in large print, MP3, and Digital Talking Book formats. Patrons and their family members can also request braille copies of prayers by contacting JBI librarians at [email protected] or by calling 1-800-433-1531 or 212-889-2525. For additional details and links to downloads, visit the webpage on JBI’s Special Hanukkah Publications.