The Collection

Explore the intersection of 4,000 years of art and Jewish culture through nearly 30,000 important objects spanning fine and folk art, Judaica, antiquities and broadcast media.

Hanukkah

The festival of Hanukkah commemorates an ancient victory for religious freedom-the liberation and reestablishment of Jewish worship in the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. According to legend, a miracle occurred as the Jews gave thanks for divine intervention. A one-day supply of consecrated oil necessary for worship burned for the entire-eight day celebration.

One of the most popular and beloved Jewish ceremonial objects, the Hanukkah lamp has evolved over the centuries for the ceremonial kindling of lights during the eight nights of Hanukkah. The Jewish Museum has the largest collection of lamps in the world. They reflect the multitude of places where Jews have settled and flourished, as they represent local styles and motifs. Each lamp speaks to a complex interaction of historical events, Jewish law, artistic expression, and personal experience. The sages of ancient times declared the lights holy, the famous medieval rabbi Moses Maimonides urged Jews to borrow money or sell their clothing to purchase oil for the lamp, and the Jews of eighteenth-century Frankfurt, Germany, considered it one of the three essential silver objects to be given as a wedding gift.

Today, the celebration of Hanukkah as a time of freedom and miracles and the tradition of kindling the festival lights on a winter’s evening continues to have profound meaning around the world.

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Jonathan Adler, American, b. 1966

Dreidel Mod-Diamond Dreidel

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Anika Smulovitz, American, b. 1974

Hanukkah Lamp Light in the Darkness (Hanukkah Menorah)

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Laura Cowan, British, b. 1971

Dreidel Smart Dreidel

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Karim Rashid, American, b. Egypt, 1960

Hanukkah Lamp Menorahmorph

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Matthew McCaslin, American, b. 1957

Being the Light

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Rod Baer, American, b. 1951

Hanukkah Lamp Every December

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Michael Berkowicz, Polish, b. Russia, 1944

Dreidel Executive Dreidel

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Joel Otterson, American, b. 1959

Hanukkah Lamp Unorthodox Menorah II

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Richard Meier, American, b. 1935

Hanukkah Lamp Architectonic Menorah

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Mae Rockland Tupa, American, b. 1937

Hanukkah Lamp Miss Liberty

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Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert, American, b. Germany, 1900-1981

Hanukkah Lamp

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David Heinz Gumbel, Israeli, b. Germany 1896-1992

Hanukkah Lamp

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