Arching bow. Some say that God showed Noah a rainbow after the flood in the month of Kislev.Significance of the Month
Kislev is the ninth month of the Jewish calendar. It occurs during the winter, and often the winter solstice takes place during Kislev.HolidaysChanukah
begins on the 25th day of Kislev. It lasts for eight days, and therefore carries over into the next month of Tevet. On Chanukah we celebrate the Hasmoneans' victory over the Greeks and the rededication of the Temple, which had been defiled. The Hasmoneans found only enough ritually pure oil to burn for one day, but a miracle happened and it lasted eight days until they could make more oil We celebrate by lighting the Chanukah Menorah beginning with one candle and then adding one each night, culminating with eight candles on the final night of Chanukah. Traditional Chanukah foods include potato pancakes, donuts, and other things fried in oil.Women to Celebrate
Judith - The apocryphal Book of Judith is not included in the Hebrew Bible, but is mentioned in Jewish sources, some of which associate Judith with the holiday of Chanukah. Famous Women's YahrzeitsEmma Lazarus
- 3 Kislev 5648 (November 19, 1887). One of the first successful Jewish American authors, her poem "The New Colossus" is inscribed on the plaque of the Statue of Liberty. Bobbie Rosenfeld
- 4 Kislev 5730 (November 14, 1969). A Canadian athlete who gained international fame for her performance in track at the 1928 Olympics. Though her athletic career was cut short by arthritis, Rosenfeld was instrumental in paving the way for women's participation in sports.Golda Meir
- 8 Kislev 5739 (December 8, 1978). On March 7, 1969, Meir was nominated by the Labor Party to be Israel's first woman Prime Minister. She held this esteemed position until 1974. At the time of her appointment, Meir was the world's third woman Prime Minister. Hannah Greenbaum Solomon
- 28 Kislev 5703 (December 7, 1942). Founder of the National Council of Jewish Women, the first national association of Jewish women.Text StudiesJudith: A Chanukah Heroine
- The apocryphal Book of Judith is not included in the Hebrew Bible, but is mentioned in Jewish sources, some of which associate Judith with the holiday of Chanukah. Activities
Wine and Cheese Party - Celebrate Judith, who according to some versions of her story, fed the Assyrian governor cheese and then killed him. Combine this activity with the text study "Judith: A Chanukah Heroine."
Self-Defense Class - Following the model of Judith, who saved the Jewish people with her strength and bravery, empower women to fend for themselves.
Dreidel - Everyone's favorite Chanukah gambling game!Conversations:
End of the Semester - On most campuses Kislev marks the end of the semester and the beginning of winter break. Reflect on the semester and discuss plans for the upcoming break. Give blessings to the group as they prepare for finals.
Sports - Bobbie Rosenfeld, whose yahrzeit we observe this month, is one of the most accomplished female athletes ever. Discuss what sports, competition, and sportsmanship mean to you and what their role in an ideal society should be? Do you agree with the stereotype that girls play with dolls and boys play with balls?
Immigration - During Kislev we celebrate Emma Lazarus, whose poem "The New Colossus" is inscribed on the plaque of the Statue of Liberty. Have a conversation on the family histories of members of the Rosh Chodesh group. Where do members' families come from? Have any members of the group emigrated from a different country? What was their experience like? What does America mean to you?
You may want to start the conversation by reading "The New Colossus."
The New Colossus
By Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips.
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"