Jews adjust to celebrating Hanukkah during COVID-19

Jewish Americans from a variety of branches of the faith are celebrating Hanukkah with smaller-than-usual gatherings this year, in hopes of keeping the year-end holiday safe but still joyful as coronavirus cases spike across the country. 

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December 11, 2020 - 11:53 AM

Jewish Americans from a variety of branches of the faith are celebrating Hanukkah with smaller-than-usual gatherings this year, in hopes of keeping the year-end holiday safe but still joyful as coronavirus cases spike across the country. 

Many Jewish Americans are already accustomed to more intimate celebrations of a holiday focused more on the home than on the synagogue, including Haredim or ultra-Orthodox communities. So the recent successful Supreme Court challenge to New York restrictions on in-person worship by some Orthodox groups won’t mean much as far as their Hanukkah plans. 

But celebrating Hanukkah during a pandemic still poses a challenge to some Jewish Americans, for whom the holiday has risen in prominence in part because its social elements and timing line up with non-Jewish holidays such as Christmas. 

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