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 Hanukkiah – the distinctive nine–armed candelabra – making Hanukkah a symbol of re-establishing Jewish life and faith amidst dark circumstances.

Since 2004 Hanukkah has been openly celebrated in Tübingen. Every evening, the Hanukkiah is lit in a different section of the city as a symbol of friendship and solidarity with Israel and a statement against recurring flare-up of antisemitism.

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

Previous Lecture Topics:

  • “Jewish life today in Germany – reality and structure”
    Manfred Levy, head of education at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt and staff member of the Fritz Bauer Institute
  • A Conversation with Rabbi Zsolt Balla
    Rabbi Zsolt Balla, leader of the Jewish community in Leipzig, Germany
  • “Fact Check Israel”
    Gottfried Bühler, president of ICEJ Germany, and Carmen Shamsianpur, historian and scholar of Islamic studies
  • “Do Jews in Europe have a future?”
    Stephan J. Kramer, former General Secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and former head of the Berlin office of the European Jewish Congress
  • “The language of Jew-hatred in the 21st Century”
    Matthias J. Becker, TU Berlin, Institute for Language and Communication, DFG – Project “Current Conceptualization of Terrorism”
  • “The Women of Block 10 – Medical Experiments in Auschwitz”
    Dr. Hans – Joachim Lang, historian and journalist
  • “Current antisemitism and Israel–criticism”
    Dr. Martin 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


Previous Events:

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


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. The temple in Jerusalem was desecrated and a statue of Zeus was erected in it. Under the leadership of the Maccabees, the Hebrews unexpectedly succeeded in driving out the Hellenists who were superior in numbers and military power. The temple was re-dedicated, but for the temple’s menorah they found only 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.