Hanukka Days Tübingen

Jewish-Christian Week of Encounters and Culture

Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights, commemorating the re-dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem in 164 BC. For eight evenings, eight candles are lit one by one on the distinctive nine – armed candelabrum, making Hanukkah a signal of the re-establishing of Jewish life and faith amidst dark circumstances.

Since 2004 Hanukkah is openly celebrated in Tübingen. Every evening, another light of the Hanukkah candleholder is being lit in a specifically chosen location. The lights of the Chanukkiah are intended as a signal of friendship and solidarity with Israel and a statement against recurring flare up of anti-Semitism.

The Jewish Christian Week of Encounters and Culture celebrates Jewish culture with concerts, readings and traditional Dreidel games. Additionally, lectures about jewish life Germany, Hanukkah, but also the topic of anti-Semitism and remembrance of the Holocaust, make up a varied program.

Previous topics of lectures:

  • “Jewish life today in Germany – reality and construction”
    (Manfred Levy, contributor of the pedagogic centre of the Jewish museums Frankfurt, and of the Fritz Bauer Institute)
  • A conversation with Rabbi Zsolt Balla
  • “Fact Check Israel” – facts about Israel
    (Gottfried Bühler, president of ICEJ Germany, and Carmen Shamsianpur, scholar of Islamic studies and historian)
  • “Do Jews in Europe have a future?”
    (Stephan J. Kramer)
  • “The language of Jew hatred in the 21st Century”
    (Matthias J. Becker, TU Berlin, Institue for Language and Communication, DFG – Project “Current Conceptualization of Terrorism”)
  • “The Women of Block 10 – Medical experiments in Auschwitz”
    (Prof. Dr. Hans – Joachim Lang, historian and journalist)
  • “Current anti-Semitism and Israel – criticism”
    (Dr. Marin Ulmer, cultural anthropologist and  historian)
  • “Johannes Reuchlin and the Campaign to Destroy Jewish Books”
    (Dr. Hans Peter Willi, theologian and bookseller)
  • “The Meaning of Hanukkah in the History of the Jews in Tübingen”
    (Jobst Bittner, founder and president of the March of Life e.V.)


Previous events:

  • Learning Jiddish
  • Jewish – Christian Concert Evening
  • “Dreidel & Latkes Evening”
  • Exhibition of Mina Gampel: Tradition and Modernity
  • Reading “Israel, My Friend” with Carmen Shamsianpur, scholar of Islamic studies and historian


More about Hanukkah

After the conquest of Israel in 200 AD by the Seleucids it was forbidden for Jews to practice their faith. The punishment for circumcision and keeping the Sabbath was the death sentence. Finally, the temple in Jerusalem was desecrated and a statue of Zeus was erected in it. Under the leadership of the Maccabees the Hebrew unexpectedly succeeded in driving out the Hellenists who were superior in numbers and military apparel. The temple was re-dedicated, but for the temple’s candelabra they only found a small jar of pure oil, enough to last for one day. By a miracle it kept the flames ablaze for eight days, until new pure oil could be made.