Come rain, come shine, the Skirball’s annual Hanukkah family festival always draws a crowd of diverse generations, backgrounds, and smiles. Photographer and first-time festival attendee BeBe Jacobs was impressed with this year’s Hanukkah festival, Americana Hanukkah, which took inspiration from our campus-wide “Democracy Matters” initiative to celebrate the Jewish holiday. “No matter what activity [people] were doing,” she told me, as we looked over the images she shot that day, “the fact that families were spending time together made all the difference.”
For both of us, the Hanukkah festival not only brought families together but also brought out creativity that visitors did not realize they had. There was plenty to do all day, like watch Marcus Shelby and his quintet perform beautiful freedom songs… or hear Story Pirates act out original Hanukkah tales on stage… or join a tour focusing on the Skirball’s collection of Hanukkah lamps (the last couple of these Lights of Hanukkah Family Tours take place today and tomorrow, so be sure to swing by this weekend). But it was at the hands-on art workshops where people got a chance to create something themselves.
Here, BeBe shares ten of her favorite photos from that fun-filled day with reflections on the people and moments that made them so special.
BeBe was amazed at how each visitor could create beautiful art pieces out of plain materials. Here, a young visitor displays a menorah he made out of plastic tubes, colorful tape, and stickers.
This young girl patiently waited as her brother finished his art project. In a moment of silliness, Bebe placed a tiny menorah on the glue stick in front of the girl. Immediately she looked down and started to blow out the “candles”.
This young visitor was very proud of the Hanukkah pin she crafted. The glee that shines through in this photo makes it an easy favorite!
BeBe loved this moment of collaboration between this young artist and her mom. She was particularly struck by the girl’s diligence and concentration. “They worked so well together.”
This young visitor kindly asked BeBe, “Can you take a picture of me with my dreidel?” Usually, photographers have to ask visitors if they can take our visitors' pictures, so it was nice to have the opposite happen this time!
This young visitor put together this dreidel all by herself. BeBe watched her construct this “origami” dreidel from start to finish, following the directions step by step.
This is BeBe’s absolute favorite photo of the day. She was particularly surprised by how young this little one was. Here, while studying the picture on a Hanukkah puzzle box, this girl quietly focuses and puts the pieces together perfectly all by herself. To BeBe, this was a “beautiful moment.”
This photo highlights the intergenerational spirit of the Hanukkah festival. After having some fun coloring a Hanukkah picture, this grandmother and grandson share a sweet moment together.
This boy was so excited to make Hanukkah pins, he made multiple creations and proudly wore all three of them. BeBe particularly loved the patriotic theme that added such flair to each of his pins. One could say that his pins are actual “Americana Hanukkah."
BeBe happened to run into friends of hers at Americana Hanukkah. These friends, a father and daughter, were singing Hanukkah songs together while working on a puzzle. Here, BeBe caught the daughter joyfully laughing as her dad sang a verse to her.
Happy eighth night of Hanukkah! Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we do.