Students honor Jewish holiday

By Jami Peterson

From Dec. 12 until Dec. 19, Jewish students and other members of the Jewish community will be saying “Happy Hanukkah” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Lighting a candle in their residence hall windows is about all NIU students who are Jewish will be doing this Hanukkah, because it falls right in the middle of exam week. The students will be too busy studying for and taking semester exams, said Abraham Bass, professor of journalism and faculty adviser for Hillel, the Jewish student group.

“Hillel is not planning any special programs because Hanukkah falls right in the middle of exam week this year,” Bass said.

“There will be no synagogue service for students and no special programs,” he added.

The local congregation will be holding its Hanukkah service on Saturday night, Dec. 15.

Because there was no time during the eight days of Hanukkah, “members of Hillel held an early Hanukkah party Sunday,” he said.

Candles will be on sale for students on Wednesday, Dec. 5, between 4 and 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9, between 10 and 10:30 a.m. in the Hillel building, located at 820 Russell Road. This is before the local congregation holds its religion school in the Hillel building, Bass said.

Those who celebrate Hanukkah will light a candle on Tuesday, Dec. 11, the evening before the first day of Hanukkah, Bass said.

It is defined as an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after its defilement by Antiochis of Syria. Every night during Hanukkah, a candle is lit and placed in the window.